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Flags in MD county lowered in tribute to Andrew Snakovsky, military veteran and former police officer

US_flag_at_half_staff_ (MarkBuckawicki/WikiCommons)

The Harford County flag will fly at half staff through Wednesday, in honor of a county employee and former police officer whose many duties with the county included raising and lowering flags at local facilities.

“Since it was his responsibility, we thought it was only fitting to honor him with that,” Director of Administration Billy Boniface said of Andrew Snakovsky, who died April 29 at age 67 from an illness.

The type of illness was unspecified, but it was not related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. County Executive Barry Glassman ordered county flags to be lowered to half staff from sunrise Monday until sunset on Wednesday, according to a county news release.

Snakovsky is being honored for his service to Harford County as a security officer as well as his service as a first responder in the Air Force and then a police officer in Annapolis and Baltimore City. His career stretched over close to 50 years.

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“Andy dedicated his life to public service, most recently as an important member of the security team for county buildings,” Glassman said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family. He will be greatly missed.”

Boniface described Snakovsky, who began working for Harford County in 2008 after retiring from law enforcement, as “a quiet person, very professional” and “a jack of all trades.”

Snakovsky was part of the county’s security service put in place by former County Executive David Craig. Snakovsky and his colleagues provided security at local government facilities, such as the county administration building in Bel Air, until the Glassman Administration took office in 2014. Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies then took on building security, according to Boniface.

Snakovsky stayed on with Harford County, however, performing a number of tasks that sheriff’s deputies were not able to perform. As a person with a law enforcement background and permitted to carry a firearm, Snakovsky could handle duties such as picking up and transporting daily cash deposits from various county facilities, Boniface said.

He also handled matters such as processing employee parking passes, writing tickets for motorists parked illegally on county property, even directing traffic and escorting senior citizens in and out of the administration building as people visited at the start of the fiscal year in July to pay their property taxes.

“He had [the traffic] orchestrated,” Boniface said. “It was like a perfect symphony out here.”

Snakovsky still handled security situations when needed, such as one instance when the staff of the county’s Office on Aging had issues with a client to the point where they felt unsafe. Snakovsky, in response, checked on staffers throughout the day and escorted them to their vehicles at the end of their shifts.

“He would take it upon himself to make sure everybody was safe,” Boniface said.

Snakovsky was known for raising and lowering flags outside county buildings. The task can be challenging, as lowering flags to half staff and later raising them has to be done in accordance with different orders by the U.S. president, governor and county executive — the flags had to be at half staff by a certain time, then raised to full mast again at a certain time, such as sunrise and sunset, according to Boniface.

“He’s most well known for keeping us on track with the flags,” Boniface said of Snakovsky, whom he said was “a stickler for detail.”

A number of tributes to Snakovsky, who had the nickname “Snake,” have been posted on the website of Baltimore-based Gonce Funeral Service. The tributes come from Harford County officials and staff, as well as friends and former law enforcement colleagues.

Gonce has arranged a private visitation with Snakovsky’s family and a private burial with military honors in Cedar Hill Cemetery, according to the obituary.

“He was a classy guy,” Boniface said. “We sure are going to miss him.”

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