On The Job; Bank officer praised www.privateofficer.com
On The Job: Bank officer praised by many http://www.privateofficer.com
By Pat van den Beemt
Townson MD. April 27 2008
It’s a warm April day, and most motorists have their windows down as they pass through Jackonsville on Jarrettsville Pike.
A FedEx truck passes the Bank of America branch, and the driver honks and waves. Soon after, a woman in a green van toots her horn and waves, too. Every now and then, a driver yells out, but the words are swallowed up by the traffic.
The object of this attention is Carl Tilghman, a guard at the bank. Passersby know he will be standing outside the bank during the day, no matter what the weather — good or bad, hot or cold, snowy or sunny.
And they know he’ll wave back. Every time.
“I’ve been here three years and eight months, and I guess by now people know I’m out here,” Tilghman said, standing in bright sunlight near the bank’s front door. “I don’t know everybody who honks, but I know the names of hundreds of people who come to this bank.”
At 6 feet and 200 pounds, wearing a black cap, sunglasses, a bullet-proof vest under a white shirt, a sidearm, black pants and black boots, Tilghman, 32, is an imposing figure. Doing sit-ups and push-ups, plus running each week helps him stay in shape, ready to react to any hint of trouble.
But the formidable exterior belies a faith that prompts him to treat everyone with respect.
“People may look at me and see me as macho or militant, but I believe I can reach people with love and kindness,” he said. “It’s like a revolving door. You display that kindness to others, and they will to you, too.”
Steve Moran, who managed the Jacksonville branch until last week, when he was transferred to Brooklandville, praises Tilghman.
“He remembers everybody’s name and has this demeanor that’s very professional but personal, too. He is a very deep person,” Moran said.
One of Tilghman’s biggest admirers is bank customer Ed Zenker, of Jacksonville.
“I know politicians who don’t get as much attention as Carl does,” Zenker said. “He has a certain charisma, and he is genuinely interested in people and what they have to say.”
Kim Coppola, whose husband co-owns the Strapasta restaurant in the nearby Manor Center, got to know Tilghman during her daily bank runs. A shared interest in the National Football League has created a certain friendly friction.
“I’m an Eagles fan and Carl likes the Patriots,” explained Coppola, who presented Tilghman with a box of Kleenex after the Patriots lost in the Super Bowl. “Sometimes I’m late for where I’m going because I stay and talk with Carl,” she added.
Tilghman says he enjoys his job with the Wackenhut Corporation, a Palm Beach, Fla.-based security company with an office in Linthicum — but hopes his future will involve another kind of vocation.
He grew up in Randallstown and dropped out of school in 1992, shortly after his father died. He drifted for nine months, until prayer put him back on track, he said.
“I went to my church, and people prayed over me, and I felt my grief and depression lift,” he said. He went on to get his high school equivalency degree, then served in the Marine Corps for four years, leaving as a lance corporal.
Next, he joined the Baltimore Police Department and was assigned to the city’s Northern District as a patrol officer. But he quit after two years when his police duties interfered with his ability to attend church services on Sundays.
Tilghman then joined Towson University’s police department and began taking classes.
“I originally wanted a degree in criminal justice, but I realized I had to respond to the passion and desire within me to serve God,” he said. He now is majoring in religious studies and taking a course on ancient civilizations. His goal is to get a Master of Divinity degree and become a preacher with an apostolic or Pentecostal church, he said.
Tilghman lives near Loyola College in Baltimore and attends the Church of the Redeemed of the Lord, one mile away on Old York Road. He is single, “waiting for God to bless me with a wife.”
Over the years, he has taken missionary trips to places such as South Africa and Trinidad and would like to take others, he said.
“In five years, I’d like to be ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this country or around the world,” he said. “My overall aim is to show the greatest love and passion to others.”
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