A narcotics task force focused entirely on dismantling drug crimes in Frederick County is becoming dismantled itself — a result of Maryland State Police pulling out of the effort.

Four Maryland state troopers have been pulled from the task force and one remaining trooper will leave in October, state police spokesman Greg Shipley told The Frederick News-Post.

Five troopers and seven Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputies made up the task force, now referred to as a "sheriff's office task force," said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.

Shipley said troopers who had been on the task force will still work from the Frederick Barrack but will be "reassigned" to work on multijurisdictional investigations rather than local issues.

"Criminals are coming from urban areas and into a rural or suburban area to sell drugs and orientate some sort of criminal enterprise," he said. "We've shifted the focus of the entire department to take on this challenge and are doing what Maryland State Police should be doing, focusing on inter-jurisdictional criminal enterprise."

A Frederick Police Department officer on the task force was pulled in 2003 to join the department's Drug Enforcement Unit, said Police Chief Thomas Ledwell.

Jenkins said he was given only 30 days' notice that the task force would lose nearly half of its strength. He reported a 300 percent increase in tips and complaints regarding heroin use in local neighborhoods from previous years.

He detailed cases that the task force was credited with helping to dismantle, including the South Side Brims, a gang that stretched from Frederick to Salisbury in 2011.

"I'm disappointed because it has been a productive task force, at least for the 20 years I've been in law enforcement," Jenkins said. "It's a very productive unit in Frederick County, producing a lot of seizures and closures, and I hate to see it be dismantled like that."

Shipley said the new focus is based on an approach to policing that gets the agency back to its roots.

"The reason state police formed in 1921 was to have a statewide law enforcement agency that could move throughout various jurisdictions and apprehend criminals," Shipley said. "The sheriff's department is an outstanding department committed to local law enforcement. We, as a department, have to stay committed to state law enforcement."

Frederick County becomes the second jurisdiction, after St. Mary's County, to have its Maryland State Police counterpart back out of local task forces.

The St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations was made up of three state police troopers and 11 sheriff's deputies, but went to a "criminal investigation division" when the three troopers were reassigned.

St. Mary's County Sheriff Timothy Cameron said he was also given 30 days' notice and the troopers left the unit Sept. 13.

"It was a bit of a shock. I didn't see that coming, honestly. It's disappointing," he said, adding that the task force "eliminated the dysfunction of competing agencies and had an incredible closure rate."

Troopers in other areas of the state are also being looked at for potential reassignment, Shipley said.

Shipley said the decision in Frederick County was not based on personnel or recruitment issues, though the Frederick Barrack has downsized in recent years.

Fourty-six uniformed troopers staffed the barrack last year, compared with the 36 there now, he said.

State police also handed off patrolling duties to the sheriff's office when deciding to no longer patrol state roads Urbana Pike and Buckeystown Pike.

That memorandum of understanding was formalized Aug. 28, Shipley said.

Some Frederick County residents said the task force should be expanding, not downsizing, at a time when illegal drugs are more prevalent.

"It is devastating that the state police are backing out now given the obvious epidemic that is happening with heroin use and overdoses," said Thurmont resident Jacque Burrier, who heads Project Hope Thurmont, Md., a grass-roots organization that works to raise awareness of drug overdoses.

Jenkins said he is committed to continuing the work of the task force, but he isn't certain how the department will fill the void left by the state police.

"Looking at the history of the task force and how productive we've been, I would have expected more notice," Jenkins said. "I can't fill that in 30 days."

Follow Daniel J. Gross on Twitter: @DanielJGross.

(33) comments

watson4sherlock

Frederick County Sheriff 2009 Drug Arrests 497

See https://frederickcountymd.gov/documents/16/2009%20Annual%20Report%20PDF%204262010%20No%20signature.PDF


Frederick County Sheriff 2011 Drug Talks and Education 7 Arrests???

See http://frederickcountymd.gov/documents/16/41/FINAL%202011%20Annual%20Report%206%2020%2012_201207251046271720.pdf

gayFCSOdetective

It's appearing that a few from the inside (deputies) are speaking out in the comments here.

stevem90999

Shipley says it gets the agency (MSP) back to its roots. When is it going to "grow" away from its roots and start branching out?? It's been around long enough. Going back to the roots sounds counter-productive.

backroomfrederick

Recents events couldn't have helped things...

mdguy2223

It is sad to see a strong force like the MSP step out. The MSP and FCSO combined have done great work and i applaud them for there efforts in fighting the war on drugs here in Fred. Co. I have a suggestion for Sheriff Jenkins start taking all your deputies who sit behind a desk all day and do nothing besides surfing the net and doing 5 mins of paperwork and put them on the road and take some of your patrol deputies who are good at busting drug users on the streets and place them on the drug force. Then start Hiring more deputies and not just friends and build up your force this county is growing out of proportion. And i agree with the others here about Sgt. Bailey shes a certified law enforcement officer put her on the road. Why should i pay for her salery when a civilian or your personal secretary can do her job making press relases for a cheaper rate. She has a badge, take home car (huge waste) if she ever properly uses it and throw her on patrol. We need more men and women on the streets of this ever expanding county. We dont need uniformed deputies sitting at a desk doing a civilians job. I as a tax payer am outraged that my taxes are going to waste paying someone in her position to sit at a fancy desk all day when she could be out making every penny of her salary count. I would not mind paying a little extra for a civilian to be a sheriffs office spokesperson.

gayFCSOdetective

I have no problem with a sworn officer or member of the command staff being the FCSO spokesperson.......as long as that's not his/her ONLY assignment.

Bailey needs to come out from her cozy desk. She can be a patrol Sgt, she can be a Sgt of investigations, and at the same time she can be the official FCSO spokesperson.

The previous commenter is correct, former sheriff Jimmy Hagy gave this spokesperson position to Bailey. Why hasn't Jenkins put an end to this silly spending?

A person who's only duty is to be a spokesperson does NOT need a cruiser. A Toyota Yaris would suffice.

If I recall correctly, Frederick City Police has a member of their command staff whom is a spokesperson. But he also has a plate full of other duties. This benefit the city because they're getting two for one.

And I agree, Jenkins needs to cease and desist hiring of his personal friends.

president8444

[smile][beam][smile]

president8444

jenkins can do it.

beechlover

What a strange time to have less police in Maryland. They should change the welcome sign to: Welcome to Maryland, open for criminals. With all the legal pot smoking and gunless residents it will be a free for all for all sorts of criminal activity. If your counting on the local law enforcement to help you, think twice, they shoot first, ask questions later. A modern day wild west here in FC. Good luck with that!

webber_1998

Just another group that cannot stand to be connected to Jenkins and his merry band of misfit toys.

dbjanda1

Let's see, they can't arrest illegal aliens now they don't want to get involved in illegal drugs...What's next leaving murderers alone since Maryland abolished the death penalty ???...Gov. Perry should've mentioned this the other day...Not surprised they waited until he left...Hope they wake up before all the legal citizenry leaves...Who'll be left to pay taxes ???...Me

nopulitzerprize4fnp

He was going to mention it, but couldn't remember what he was going to say.

tomgeiser

Frederick County and others have been short changed for years, by the Dems. that run the state. It's been decades since Barrack B was properly staffed. We have been hiring Deputies , buying equipment, etc., to pick up the slack. Taxpayers in Frederick City pay for three police depts., receive service from ONE! All just part of this great liberal created TAX HELL WE CALL MARYLAND.

nopulitzerprize4fnp

Leave!

ddegrangejr

Maybe, just maybe MSP has gotten smart and doesn't want their names smeared along with the FCSO. Chuckie Cheese is starting a circus over there and he could be the lead clown. Maybe if he could control the attack happy clownlets and get some control, MSP wouldn't have left.

leoperro01

Chuck is so busy hiring his friends, in useless civilian jobs at the Sheriff's Office, he has no time to make up for lost Narcotics Cops. He does not care if crime goes up, from a bunch of addicts breaking into houses and stealing everything that isn't bolted down. He will just reclassify the crimes, so they don't show up on the Uniform Crime Report. Then he can lie about crime rates going down. He doesn't even have a Warrant squad, trying to locate and lock up wanted criminals. He could care less about protecting the citizens. Sheriff Dim Wit is a poor politician, not a Policeman. Maybe he can find a way to blame this all on Blaine.

Sluefoot Sue

He and BTP are "best buds. There is a happy little band of buddies, CJ, BY, and JG.

cj7guy

Jennifer bailey is being paid as a sergeant to do a job that a civilian employee can do. (Spokes person).

She has had this position since Hagy was in office. And is the upmost waste of tax payer dollars.

And then The sheriff has the nerve to whine about he hasn't the man power.

aceemily

O'Malley is simply following the road map established for illegal aliens by obama and calipornia (calipornia, get it?). Stop pursuing drug dealers (illegal aliens), declare pushers and users a "social problem", create a guvmint program to deal with it, create a new tax to fund the program.

frederickinsider

This is just the start MSP is pulling out and FCSO is growing. FredCoTaxes will go up

Comment deleted.
NASCARLOVER

spell-check!!

armillary

Chuck's too obsessed with deporting
which the state police aren't supporting
they say, "stick to the facts
and get down to brass tacks:
start arresting the ones who are snorting."

fredneckforever

[thumbup][lol]

whitemanfortyfour

LIKE THIS!! But it's gonna be hard to top the Blaine and Chuck Deportation Debacle. I showed EVERYONE I knew that poem and it still makes us LMFAO to this day!!! In FACT I just "chuckled" about it as I typed this! I say we nominate that one for a Letter to the Editor???

armillary

I'm glad you liked it! But they say they don't take poetry for LTEs.

cj7guy

Sounds like queen Jennifer bailey is gonna have to go back out on the road where he belongs.

Paying Jennifer a sergeants salary to sit behind a desk and give a weekly press report is plain stupid and poor use of tax payer money.

Put her in the narcotics task force.

Chron

The "war on drugs" has been fought from the wrong end for the past 30 years and, still, we have the sale and consumption of dangerous drugs. Our society has attained a puritanical fantasy with punishment for just about anything. Drugs are a health issue and should be addressed as a health issue.

I wish our police and prosecuting attorneys would go after financial criminals with the same zeal as they do a heroin user.

LucyLucy

"The reason state police formed in 1921 was to have a statewide law enforcement agency that could move throughout various jurisdictions and apprehend criminals," Shipley said. "The sheriff's department is an outstanding department committed to local law enforcement. We, as a department, have to stay committed to state law enforcement.".......I kinda think they no longer want Chuckles boy's to be able to travel to different jurisdictions and "apprehend criminals".. because Chuckles boy's seem to think people with Down Syndrome are criminals..and people are tired of seeing their tax dollar pay for murder..

fredneckforever

[thumbup][ohmy]

ray1

O'Malley hates the more rural counties, we will probably be down to 10 MSP officers next year. I am sure he hates Jenkins too.

usgov

Although the war on drugs has been an abysmal failure for tax payers it has provided a fiscal bonanza for those pursuing careers in the judicial system.

abcxyz24681012

"... and are doing what Maryland State Police should be doing...." Kind of implies that MSP has decided that there was something wrong with what they were/have been doing. If not, then Shipley should have stopped with "We've shifted the focus of the entire department...."

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.