On Aug. 5, the county executive and the County Council announced a proposed audit of the sheriff’s office’s 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agreement in which specially trained correctional officers screen those coming into the custody of the jail to determine their immigration status. It has unleashed a firestorm of misinformation about the audit and the controversial 287(g) agreement from both those in support of the agreement and those opposed to it.

As I understand it, what it is, is a narrow financial audit, an effort to determine the amount of local taxpayer dollars being spent on the 287(g) agreement. Nothing more. It is an attempt to uncover costs that have been hidden in the sheriff’s budget, hidden from view of those approving the budget and those providing the funds to pay for it. This audit will give the county executive and council a better understanding of what they have approved in the budget process and how much of the taxpayers’ dollars they have devoted to this agreement.

It is not an audit that will be evaluating the efficacy of the 287(g) agreement. There is not going to be a cost-benefit analysis. It is not an attempt to uncover wrongdoing by the sheriff, as no wrongdoing is suspected.

Recently Daniel Berti, a staff writer for the Prince William Times in Prince William County, Virginia, conducted an analysis of ICE agreements in that county, uncovering the cost to the taxpayer for the Prince William County sheriff’s participation in the 287(g) program. The price tag for the 287(g) agreement there had also been hidden from public view. Mr. Berti found that the costs to the local taxpayer were considerable.

Transparency, particularly when it comes to the use of taxpayer dollars, is critical to securing and maintaining the trust of the governed, trust that is necessary for effective leadership.

Karl Bickel

Monrovia

Karl Bickel was the 2018 Democratic candidate for sheriff. He can be reached at KarlBickel@comcast.net.

(47) comments

gary4books

" No one cares about you, her, me, him." Mostly this is true. But what counts are ideas. Perceptions matter. So we comment to counter or support other ideas. I hardly ever notice who said or wrote them. The message is in the media.


KellyAlzan

Different context

gary4books

Not really. People may not count, but their thoughts are important.

DickD

This is Karl's record in law enforcement. 

U.S.Department of Justice (retired)

Senior Policy Analyst (Retired)U.S.Department of Justice Sep 1997 – Jan 2014

16 years 5 months



Information Services Community Policing Consortium Sep 1996 – Sep 1997

1 year 1 month

Washington, DC Law Enforcement Consultant Self employed Dec 1994 – Sep 1996 1 year 10 months

Chief, Law Enforcement Operations Frederick County, MD Sheriff's Office 1991 – Dec 1994 3 years Assistant Professor Alleganey College May 1990 – Jun 1991

1 year 2 months

Law Enforcement Specialist National Criminal Justice Reference Service Aug 1988 – May 1990 1 year 10 months

Vice President of Operations Mitchell Reports Investigations Nov 1982 – Dec 1984 2 years 2 months

Detective, Patrol Officer, Cadet Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC Apr 1969 – Jan 1978 8 years 10 months

Education Johns Hopkins University Master of Science (M.S.)Management American University Master of Science (M.S.) & Bachelor of Science (B.S.)Justice Montgomery College Montgomery College Associate in Arts Law Enforcement & Associate in Arts,

KellyAlzan

Sherf Trumpkins. Real easy. High school. And went to Texas and ride a boat there. The end.
















mcdow

DickD, if Frederick County arrests someone for local charges, processes those charges and realizes there is a warrant or hold order for federal matters what do we do with them? Fraudsters? Drug charges? Hate crimes? We hold them and contact the feds - every time. Somehow it should be different if it's an ICE detainer? And somehow it wasn't controversial in 2012 when you were happy with the Washington administration?

DickD

Mc, you are trying to change it from what it is, an agreement with the federal government to reimburse the local governments for doing their work. I have no problem with that and do not understand why you and others object to an audit so Frederick County can be reimbursed fully. Nor do I have a problem with holding them for the federals. Still, why can't the Sheriff be honest about the true costs and why does he send so many of you out to object to an audit. What is he scared that they will find?

gary4books

DickD - very reasonable. Why all this dancing on a very simple issue?

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nbouqu1

let's see we have a ton of whataboutism in this response, and intentional missing the point of what good oversight looks like. We are asking are our local tax dollars being used to subsidize a FEDERAL responsibility? While we should be asking questions about the effects of this program, does it do what it's supporters claim it does, are there negative consequences like oh I don't know maybe entire communities living in fear of the police and refusing to talk to them let alone report crimes and serve as witnesses, it's a start.


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KellyAlzan

You probably shoulda read the letter first. Before commenting.

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awteam2000

... wonder what an audit of the 287g program has to do with development or the non-incinerator?🤦‍♂️

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hayduke2

Pretty sad that you resort to attacks on an individual, who by all accounts, has served honorably in law enforcement for many years. Why don't you respect those efforts?

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threecents

What scare tactics???

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Dwasserba

Over react much

Dwasserba

What, we're going to be subjected to succinct, well-reasoned well written factual letters now?? Why is this happening? There should be an investigation.

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DickD

Witch hunts can end with the witch being caught.

DickD

Thank you Karl. .However, in my opinion the Sheriff has done wrong if it's discovered that the County is paying for the 287 (g) program because the Sheriff has deliberately hidden the costs. Wrong because it is a federal responsibility and the County should be reimbursed. And the Sheriff is aware of this.

KarlBickel

Dick, being somewhat familiar with the budget process for the sheriff’s office, I do not believe that the sheriff intentionally hid the costs of the 287(g) agreement, but he did make claims that there was no cost. In the budget process there is no requirement for a line item that reveals the actual cost. I think that is a flaw in the system/process.

public-redux

Mr. Bickel, You might know the answers to some questions. The High Sheriff has said that the local 287(g) program has helped remove ~1600 people. Is there any way to know how many of those 1600 were apprehended in Frederick County and how many were apprehended elsewhere and then brought here before being removed? Second, are any of those apprehended elsewhere from out of state or only from Maryland? Third, if it transpires that the local 287(g) program is not financially self-sufficient, would it be fair to say that FredCo taxpayers are subsidizing other jurisdictions?

KarlBickel

All good questions Public-redux. As for the number of 1600, several numbers have been bandied about. I don’t know the actual number or if they were actually removed. And we don’t know if any have returned, another serious flaw in the system. 287(g), as I understand it was intended to be used to target violent felons, drug dealers and gang members. The vast majority of those who have been caught in the net do not fall into this category.

A common mistake is conflating the 287(g) agreement for which there is no federal reimbursement and the IGSA housing agreement for which there is federal reimbursement, in which there is still some question as to whether it covers actual costs. And yes the Frederick County taxpayer is paying for all of the costs of 287(g). That is clearly stated in the agreement.

There is also a misconception that 287(g) is needed to deport a violent and/or dangerous criminal or gang member that is in violation of immigration laws. That is not true. You can still cooperate with ICE in the deportation of a criminal alien whether they are in the country in violation of the immigration laws or even when in conformance with the immigration laws without a 287(g) agreement.

I hope this is of some help.

awteam2000

Just to add to Karl’s response: In Frederick County 80% of the 287(g) arrests were for low level offenses and 60% were for traffic offenses. Not really fighting serious crime.

mcdow

The announced audit came after back-door dealing of the council. It is in response to opponents of 287g who want to see it end - along with opponents of Sheriff Jenkins. Ignorant council members have already made public statements of their wish to take all power from the sheriff and to run law enforcement from their comfortable bench. There is no objective audit. There is no way of knowing what the costs are of permitting crime to run rampant in the county in the interest of liberal lunacy. Even the letter indicates a veiled wish to take money from the budget if they can figure out how much. We have a constitutionally elected sheriff who has served the citizens of this county. And we have a gaggle of Bickel-ites who want different outcomes even if they can't win the election.

DickD

I am not against the 287 g program. I am against covering up the costs, which local tax payers must pay.

threecents

Dick[thumbup]

hayduke2

Lots of accusations and bitterness.. Can't understand how you read all that into it.

KellyAlzan

An audit is also needed on the tax payers furnishing of deputies to the Great Frederick Fair, a private biz entity.



Overtime pay needs factored in. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that some deputies have been working the fair under overtime status.



Vehicle expenses at their entirety need factored in.



Labor burden must be factored.



Every single penny must be accounted for.


gabrielshorn2013

Agreed Mr. Bickel, it is just an audit, and they happen all the time. Both sides need to chill out, and not assume ulterior motives.

Samanthapowers

[thumbup]

richardlyons

[thumbup] Totally agree Gabriel.

DickD

Oh, I disagree Gabe. If it's found that the Sheriff has hidden costs, it could be a lot more than just an audit.

gabrielshorn2013

If and when that is discovered, feel free to work yourself up into a tizzy. Until then, such action is premature and inappropriate.

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Thewheelone

"Witch hunt?" Your choice of words reveals your agenda, KMRD1. Nothing in Mr. Bickel's letter was at all scary. Are there any facts that you know about this topic that you would be willing to share with the class, KRMD1?

timothygaydos

Nice letter Karl, even if the price tag for conducting this program is more than we thought; well worth the $$$ to properly address the illegal immigration issue in our county before we become like Montgomery and others who are dealing with murderers and rapists that should have been gone from here a long time ago...



I am for an audit to properly make sure the $$$ is being properly spent and all the paperwork is being done and stored electronically and where legal shared with other jurisdictions so illegal immigrants do not fall thru the cracks and we lose them and they get to commit more felonies elsewhere.

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Thewheelone

why so snippy, Kelly?

timothygaydos

Some folks are naturally especially when facts cannot be debated and they go to "feelings". It is like when someone states there were 4 violent crimes and not an illegal immigrant was among them being charged as if that in itself was a good thing. The reality of it is that we have enough crime to deal with in our society we do not need increase risk factors of having illegal immigrants here in our country that have serious criminal behavior and history to add to our daily crime rates. It is one thing to have illegal immigrants and most of them other than being here illegally are law-abiding people looking for a better life. I understand their wish of having that better life, but they must know that there is a legal process for obtaining legal citizenship or at a minimum legal standing with a VISA to stay and work in our country. You just don't break the law because the border is open and you waltz in as if you are going to the store. Why not just walk into a bank and walk around the back and help yourself to the vault and take whatever cash you need... oh that is right that is a crime called robbery....

KellyAlzan

Because people on here write as if anyone cares about them. No one cares what others think. No one cares about you, her, me, him. Especially when the Commentor has displayed a lack of understanding on what they’re commenting about. It’s about the story at hand, it’s not about him. It’s not about you. It’s not about me.

richardlyons

Check out yesterdays mugs shots in the FNP. 4 violent crimes and not an illegal immigrant among those charged.

KellyAlzan

Exactly

DickD

The audit is for costs, not to measure the effectiveness.

threecents

[thumbup]Yah, the sheriff and his supporters seem to be ignoring this. The Sheriff is the only one who can cancel the program.

MD1756

What's the point with measuring the cost alone without measuring the benefits and effectiveness? They should measure it all and not waste money on only a partial audit.

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threecents

Tomothy?

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FCPS-Principal

Actually the letter is an accurate description of the scope of the audit, if you bother to read it.

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