I’m proud to present this overview of just some of the accomplishments of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office during my 16-year tenure. We have remained in the forefront of effective criminal enforcement efforts, corrections, technology, and other related programs.
- Frederick County has experienced an unprecedented eight (8) consecutive years in reductions of serious crime (Part I Uniform Crime Index). Frederick County has maintained a serious crime rate that has been less than one-half of the national average per capita in comparison to other similar size counties.
- The Law Enforcement Bureau continues to implement new enforcement initiatives to include a highly effective Proactive Criminal Enforcement Unit (PACE), a proactive Fugitive Unit, and a dedicated Civil Order and Firearm Surrender Unit to serve Protective Orders and Peace Orders as expeditiously as possible.
- During 2020, patrol operations established what is known as the WIN (What’s Important Now) List. The list prioritizes the needs and requests of the public including, but not limited to, speed and traffic issues, criminal enforcement, and patrol checks.
- In January 2019, the Sheriff’s Office officially started its Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC) participating with other local law enforcement agencies and the States Attorney’s Office in the investigation of sexual exploitation and predatory crimes against children.
- The Sheriff’s Office, which effectively monitors sex offenders and enforces the laws regarding sex offender violations in Frederick County, was a lead agency in the implementation of the Offender Watch Program in 2014. The program, which is very efficient and robust in the tracking and monitoring of registered sex offenders, was implemented by all law enforcement agencies state-wide in 2020.
Programs and Partnerships
- The Frederick County Adult Detention Center implemented a new inmate phone system mid-year 2020. In addition to new in-cell phones, the system provided the transition to a video visitation option, tablets available to inmates for email communications, self-improvement learning, and more. In addition, phone rates for inmates were reduced significantly and a new mail processing system was implemented, for a lowered chance of contraband.
- We have a relationship with the Way Station Mobile Crisis Program when dealing with mental health-related incidents. The Sheriff’s Office assisted by providing funding to expand the hours of the program, making the crisis response program even more beneficial.
- In 2008, the Sheriff’s Office established a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security / Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) known as the 287(g) Immigration Enforcement Program. This very effective public safety program has resulted in 1,604 ICE detainers served on criminal aliens. That number includes 115 criminal gang members.
- In 2018, I proposed the conversion of the underutilized Work Release Center into a critically needed detox facility for Frederick County residents with serious substance addiction, primarily heroin and opioids. The detox facility opened in early 2021 under private management.
- The Sheriff’s Office has built and maintained an outstanding top-down cooperative relationship with Frederick County Public Schools through a well-established and very effective SRO Program. Each year we have successfully met the mandates of the 2018 Safe to Learn Act to improve the security and protection of our students, school staff, and educational facilities. During COVID-19, these same SROs provided security to the Frederick County vaccine clinics.
- In 2018, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms as a partner to implement the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to help identify and incarcerate violent criminals using firearms plaguing our county.
- The Community Deputy Programs continue to be effective and well-received within the towns of Middletown, Myersville, and Emmitsburg.
- Other important programs include expanded fingerprinting services, an online reporting tool, Meals on Wheels Program at the detention center, Project Lifesaver, and the current Cadet Program for young adults ages. The Citizen Assistance Volunteers program was shifted to patrol operations to be more mission-focused for a greater value to the agency and the public.
- The Law Enforcement Bureau has invested heavily in technology upgrades to include an enhanced in-car mobile data system, interview room recording systems, and acquisition of the ultra-modern Faro system, providing the ability to scan and photograph crime scenes and traffic crashes in 3D.
- Major technological upgrades have been completed at the Adult Detention Center, including a full-body scan x-ray system at intake, surveillance upgrades in the facility, an electronic medical records system, and upgrades in the electronic round system to ensure timely cell checks. Construction of a 28-bed expansion to the jail medical unit is slated to begin in fiscal year 2024.
- In 2020, I directed staff to begin planning for a southeastern district sub-station for the Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Bureau to better serve the fast-growing, high-volume call areas of the county. The location has been identified in Green Valley, the site of the current Green Valley Fire Station at the intersection of Routes 75 and 80. Funding has now been slated in the CIP for site and design in FY2023, and construction in FY24.
- The Adult Detention Center has worked tirelessly during the pandemic to limit the exposure and infection of COVID-19 within the facility, taking all measures possible to protect the inmates and staff. Every conceivable precaution was taken including the closing of central booking, remote court appearances, suspending of inmate programs, and offering tests and vaccines within the facility.
- In 2018, security issues at the courthouse were addressed in a need to transition formerly non-sworn courthouse deputies to Special Police Officer status at the advice of the attorney general for purposes related to agency liability. Bullet-proof shields were placed at the main entrance, along with x-rays and magnetometers being on a replacement schedule, currently scheduled for replacement in 2022.
- I have testified numerous times before Congressional committees on issues regarding illegal immigration and crime, and before committees in the Maryland Legislature from 2014 through 2019 in opposition to legislation such as the Maryland Trust Act and others that were “Sanctuary State” bills. My testimony and work with conservative lawmakers was instrumental in the blockage of those bills. I have also testified against bad gun laws such as the Maryland Firearms Act of 2013.
- During my 15-year tenure as Sheriff, I have continued to remain fiscally responsible by returning large budget surpluses, totaling many millions of dollars, back to the county coffers each year.
- Over my four terms as Sheriff, the agency has remained accredited through CALEA, successfully completing five accreditation processes.
- During the recent decade of the Heroin/Opioid plague, l have remained at the forefront of the fight to keep focus on the local addiction and overdose crisis. I have hosted and presented at many public and organizational meetings on the topic. Additionally, I have provided the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office with the tools and resources to aggressively take drugs off our streets.
- Despite being largely in an era of a bad economic climate, the Sheriff’s Office has maintained very competitive salaries and benefits for Law Enforcement and Corrections through sound collective bargaining agreements.
- In 2022, the agency will be transitioning to a new agency-issued sidearm. The Sig Arms P320 will replace the currently issued series of Sig Arms pistols, which have served us well for decades. The transition to the new model will quickly save the Sheriff’s Offices tens of thousands of dollars while replacing the generation of pistols due for replacement.
- In 2021, the Sheriff’s Office secured the funds to purchase and construct a new turning target system at the agency’s firearms range. This important training asset will enhance and improve all facets of firearms skills, proficiency, and decision-making.
- The Sheriff’s Office will be equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWC’s) as required by law by July 1, 2025. In January 2022, we began a pilot/trial program to evaluate several BWC systems on their deployment, the best hardware and technology, policies, and issues associated with footage redaction and public information requests.
One of my most satisfying accomplishments has been the ability, over my four terms as Sheriff, to remain accessible, available, and in touch with the citizens of Frederick County. My door is always open. I’ve learned that there is no elected office closer to the people than the Sheriff.
Throughout 2022, as I run for re-election for a 5th term, I hope to see you along the way to have a conversation or answer your question. I ask for your vote for Sheriff on November 8th.