Ongoing political sniping in this newspaper between current Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and previous and probable future candidate Karl Bickel should remind us all that it doesn’t have to be this way in Frederick County. It is clear to me, and I hope to you, too, that Frederick County has outgrown the increasingly outdated county sheriff policing model.

In Maryland, the office of sheriff is an elected one required by state constitution. There are 23 counties and Baltimore city, and 24 politician/sheriffs serve each one. And therein lies the problem. Do we really want politics playing a role in day-to-day law enforcement policy? I submit this model does not serve us well.

While the Maryland constitution requires each county to have a sheriff, state statutes allow counties and municipalities to form local police departments. This is the path Frederick County needs to start down.

The five largest Maryland counties — Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s — have all created professional county police departments that report directly to the county executive or county council, much like the Frederick city police chief reports to the mayor. They are the primary law enforcement agencies in these jurisdictions, charged with enforcing all laws and investigating all crimes. In these counties, the office of sheriff is minimized, limited to enforcing orders of the court such as evictions, serving subpoenas, summonses, warrants and running the county jail.

Frederick County ranks right below these top five in population. We are not the sleepy backwater we used to be. We are a metropolitan county that demands good government. We are the largest, most diverse Maryland county without its own police force. We’ve seen fit to join other large Maryland counties in establishing code home rule — a county executive with administrative powers and county council with legislative powers. A county police force is the next natural progression.

This change would take an extraordinary amount of political will, courage and money. The hue and cry from the incumbent sheriff and his backers and sheriff wannabes would be debilitating. But progressive Maryland and fiscally secure Fredrick County can get it done.

This change in policing model can be timed to not adversely harm any incumbent, challenger or upcoming election. The election for sheriff should and will go off as planned with other county office holders in 2022. After appropriate study, the legislative request to create a county police force and reform the office of sheriff could commence in 2023 with a target date of enactment in 2026. Even for government, this timetable should be doable.

Progressives, like conservatives, want safe communities and the laws to be enforced. The difference comes in the policies to make this happen. Petty politics should not play such an overt role in this important government function.

Gary Bennett

Frederick

(63) comments

KarlBickel

Mr. Bennett makes some very good points in his piece. However size isn’t the issue. The largest county law enforcement agency in the country is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Many of the largest county law enforcement agencies in the US are sheriff’s offices/departments. Less than 2% of the nation’s counties have county police departments.

As for Frederick County to move in that direction, there are political and practical concerns to address or take into account. In order for it to be a smooth transition and to avoid making it cost prohibitive it would need community support, a sheriff who would be supportive and a council and executive that would be supportive and craft the appropriate legislation.

I believe it could be accomplished within the current sheriff’s office budget but in the case of a resistant sheriff it could be cost prohibitive.

gabrielshorn2013

"The Frederick County Sheriff's Office is a recipient of the Triple Crown Award. The Triple Crown Award is presented by the National Sheriff’s Association to Sheriff's Offices who achieve simultaneous accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of the American Correctional Association, The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received this award in 1999.

We are the only Triple Crown Award winner in the state of Maryland and one of only 32 sheriff’s agencies in the United States to have achieved the Triple Crown Award.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office continues to receive CALEA accreditation and has since 1998."

https://www.frederickcosheriff.com/accreditations

Hmmm...sounds pretty professional to me Mr. Bennett, as it does to all of the certifying agencies. How does switching from an elected position (serving at the pleasure of the people) to an appointed position (serving at the pleasure of the County Executive and Council) remove politics from the situation? There is a lot of politics when you are the head of an organization. Just ask Mr. Bickel, or Mr. Lando.

phydeaux994

Who was Sheriff in 1999? What were his credentials as a LEO? Happy Thanksgiving gab.

gabrielshorn2013

I don't know phy, who? Fact is, those accréditations must be periodically reapplied for, and the agencies audited for compliance to standards. The FCSO has been recertified, without interruption, ever since their initial award. Sounds like they're delivering the same level of quality as they did in their initial CALEA certification.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too phy.

gabrielshorn2013

"Interesting that gabs goes out of her way to claim how much of a liar is am when she isn’t able to tell who was the sheriff in 1999."

What does one have to do with the other, plumbum? Yes, you know the succession of FC sheriffs, but does that mean you haven't lied? Absolutely not. Now, will you answer the questions, or will you continue your personal vendetta against the Sheriff with lies, innuendo, and diversion? I mean, really, they were simple questions.

Plumbum

1999 was Jimmy Hagy. Jimmy was a retired Maryland State Police Trooper, who rose to the rank of Sergeant. As sergeant, Jimmy managed one of the CMV inspection stations. Jimmy, came aboard with decision making and managerial experience. Jimmy was very much a “good ‘ol boy”.

During Hagy’s time as sheriff, the FCSO was hard and heavy in practicing community policing. And, certain upper administration individuals spearheaded the effort to become accredited. It was a big to-do and the fcso was very proud of the accomplishment.

Hagy was a better leader than Trumpkins is / soon to be was, and a little more intelligent. Hagy was notorious for hiring personal friends. Hagy was also retaliatory when any of his subordinates ever said anything against him.

There are still a few individuals remaining with FCSO who worked under / were hired by Hagy.

Interesting that gabs goes out of her way to claim how much of a liar is am when she isn’t able to tell who was the sheriff in 1999.

AOC

Got to give you credit for your history knowledge.

Plumbum

Furthermore, Jimmy succeeded Carl Harbaugh, whom I wanna say was a democrat.

Carl was a very very fair sheriff, and from what some of his deputies have told me, he was well respected by his subordinates.

Carl’s demise came after he came down on local fire departments during carnival season for violating gambling laws. He messed with the wrong people. If you’re a candidate for sheriff, you MUST have full support from all the volunteer fire departments. Harbaugh destroyed his chance at re-election. It’s probably safe to say that the people (primarily anyone affiliated with any volunteer fire depts) voted Harbaugh out.

Plumbum

There was a time when the county had at least three sheriffs back to back whom were former MSP troopers.

But, there is a reason for that.

As a kid I remember that if you had a neighbor in law enforcement, he was either FPD or MSP. The county had a very small patrol division.

The history of the county’s patrol division was once presented to us, but I can’t remember the details.

These troopers that became elected sheriffs patrolled the county. The county community knew them. MSP was who came to your house if you needed the police. If you were in a car accident on Gambrill Park Road, it was MSP that responded.

The county sheriffs Dept (yes, department) slowly started growing the patrol division. It seems to me that patrol started growing in the mid 80’s? (My personal guess)

I believe it was under Harbaugh that the name was changed from Department to Office. I also know there was some growth in the patrol division under Harbaugh. I know there was growth in the patrol division under Hagy. The Clinton admin wanted to put more police on the streets of America. The Clinton admin provident police agencies all across the country with special funding to hire additional officers, and the FCSO got a few deputies through that funding.

Getting back to the topic of the LTE, law enforcement has changed drastically since the patrol division of the sheriff’s Dept / Office has grown. And I purposely write Dept because that’s what it once was called.

Look at the level of experience and the credentials of former FPD chief Kim Dine. And compare that to the last two county sheriffs. There’s no comparison.

In times when lawsuits fly left and right. And in times when civil rights matter. Education and experience level do matter when it comes to law enforcement leadership. There was a time when it was ok to elect an owner medicated sheriff for the county. But today, there’s liability risk. The Roxie Santos case is an example. The actions of those deputies were sheriff driven. There’s a reason why FPD never targeted latinos, it all comes down to the education of the leadership.

KarlBickel

Gabrielshorn2013: The sheriff’s office is no longer a triple crown agency. ACA accreditation, achieved during Sheriff Carl Harbaugh’s tenure, was lost under the current sheriff. CALEA accreditation efforts were started under Sherif Robert Snyder but stalled. The Administrative and Operations manuals and filing system used to achieve CALEA accreditation were developed during Harbaugh’s tenure as well but the process was not completed. Sheriff Hagy picked up where Harbaugh left off and achieved CALEA accreditation and the triple crown distinction.

gabrielshorn2013

Thanks for the reply, Mr. Bickel. If what you say is true, then I would think that keeping the expired certifications on the website is a bit deceptive, without listing the award and expiration dates, similar to a resume. Were they only awarded once, and that is the last time they qualified? Is the FCSO still CALEA certified? Has the certification not been continually awarded since the original award? Has the FCSO not had to stand for an audit with each recertification?

KarlBickel

I believe that the triple crown decal has been removed from the patrol cars. Leaving it on the Web page could be an oversight. The FCSO is still CALEA accredited and there are periodic assessments that take place for re accreditation. As far as I know they have maintained accreditation since the original award.

gabrielshorn2013

Thank you!

Plumbum

I was fairly certain the accreditation had lapsed when gabbs did her usual posting, as I recall during the last election some commenters here were commenting about how it has lapsed.

Trumpkins can’t be bothered with stuff like that, along with community policing, he’s too busy rowing his boat up the Rio Grande.

gabrielshorn2013

Triple crown, yes plumbum. Still CALEA certified. Ask your "inside sources".

Plumbum

All these yahoos saying what a great job Trumpkins is doing. Reality is, the ones praising Trumpkins do not know anything about running a law enforcement agency. There is more to law enforcement than arresting criminals.

Getting sued and Losing law suits is anything but a good job.

Wasting tax payer money is anything but a good job.

Making embarrassing misinformed public comments is anything but a good job.

Trumpkins was not elected based on qualifications. A high school diploma and rising the the rank of DFC (an automatic rank, that all become) is not considered a respectable qualification to lead.

Some of you just don’t know.

DickD

Absolutely right! thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Plumbum

Back when Trumpkins was deputy, everyone else in law enforcement within. Frederick County was doing their jobs. But not Trumpkins. He was more occupied with campaigning for sheriff. That’s right, Trumpkins started campaigning many many many years before running. All while on the clock.

gabrielshorn2013

Or so you allege, plumbum, and we all know how truthful you have been with all of your previous allegations. So, can you give a specific instance from over 17 years ago when he campaigned while "on duty"? Not while employed by FCSO, but actually while on the clock? He is free to do as he wishes in his off hours. It's a bit hypocritical coming from someone commenting here during work hours, driving up and down I270 in their work truck. Oh, that's right, you text while driving too. Is that what your vendetta is about? A deputy nabbed you for texting while driving?

Plumbum

U should think before you reply.

gabrielshorn2013

U [sic] should think before you post. So, no evidence then, just another part of your personal vendetta of lies and innuendo? If you have to lie to make your point, you don't have much of a point to start with. As I keep telling you plumbum, you lie, I reply.

Plumbum

If I know the sherf’s middle name, and know jr was on a recent hunt trip and who he went with, pretty sure it’s a safe bet that I know things.

gabrielshorn2013

So what, plumbum. We know you're a stalker too. We also know you make a lot of stuff up.

TrekMan

That's because Plumdum is a leftwing hypocrite! Through and through!

gabrielshorn2013

Getting sued and Losing law suits is anything but a good job.

How many times has the FCSO been sued in the past 15 years, plumbum? How does that compare to other jurisdictions? Higher? Lower? About the same?

Wasting tax payer money is anything but a good job.

In what ways (in your opinion, of course) has the FCSO wasted taxpayer money? Please be specific in your claim.

Making embarrassing misinformed public comments is anything but a good job.”

Well, you got one there. So why do you continually do it?

Trumpkins was not elected based on qualifications. A high school diploma and rising the the rank of DFC (an automatic rank, that all become) is not considered a respectable qualification to lead.

Again, just your opinion. I know of many great leaders with only a high school education, and a bunch of ignoramuses with graduate degrees. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe saogirl (a former deputy) stated previously that the Sheriff was a detective earlier in his career. So, being a detective is not a qualification? What are appropriate qualifications (in your opinion of course), and why?

Plumbum

Not today, Karen. Not today.

You should be eating pumpkin pie, not picking fights with strangers on the internet.

gabrielshorn2013

So, in other words,, ya got nuthin'. Get back when you do. BTW, turkey is in the smoker,, and dinner's at 6. Kids and families flew in yesterday.

gjthuro

so you are saying the sheriff should report to Jan to avoid politics...you must be dreaming if you believe that would avoid politics....please spare us....Sheriff Jenkins and his team do a wonderful job with NO political interference from the pols... nor is any needed

Plumbum

The writer does not say “the sheriff should report to Jan”. You didn’t read, or you missed what was said.

DickD

Elected vs.Appointment of Frederick County Police

1. The current Sheriff, no matter who it is answers to the State, not the County.

2. The County pays the Sheriff and bills of the Sheriff Department, but has no say

in how all the money is spent.

3. Lawsuits against the Sheriff's Department must be defended by the County      attorney(s).

4. Elected Sheriffs do not need the impressive knowledge and experience required,     especially if there is rapid turnover of the office. It is merely a matter of

campaigning, wining and dining.

5. Mayors hire city managers and police force, school boards hire superintendents,     Congress hires staff with expertise in intelligence, defense and foreign affairs.    

The concept is not new.

6. There will still be a Sheriff, as required under Maryland law, to doing the work of

the courts and maintain the County jail.  This will be elected. 

7. If an appointed official does not carry out the law as the County Council and

Chief Executive want, they can be removed immediately - no waiting for an

election.

8. Appointments can be made with a thorough process of obtaining the best person    possible.

9. No more "good ole' boy politics" and petty vindictiveness that causes bad

  elections and good deputies to leave the "force".

10. The appointed County police officer would be limited from taking money from   

 outside groups, including those that give money for going outside of the County   

  especially to the Mexican border. The job of law enforcement is in the County, not

at the Mexican border.

11. There would be no reason for any appointed official to partake and they should        be prevented from political actions.

No doubt there are more good reasons and some not so good.  Still, as a Charter government the County has the right to do what is best for the County     

pdl603

The beauty of the current system is that the Country Executive can’t manipulate which laws are enforced by the Sheriff. Our current Sheriff keeps us safe. Bickel and what you advocate will not.

phydeaux994

How does the Sheriff keep us safe? The Frederick PD deals with the majority of the more serious crimes in the County as well as the Maryland State Police. And besides, the Sheriff has the support of a team of professional Law Enforcement Officers to allow him to carry out his “High Profile” agenda to promote himself. Testifying before the White House and Congress as an “Immigration Control Expert”. Where did he gain this “Expertise”? Patrolling the Border of Frederick County?? C’mon piddle, what exactly does Chuck Jenkins personally do to keep Frederick County safe? The Deputies and their Superior Officers do that. All Chuck does is give them orders that get them in trouble.

gabrielshorn2013

And how would going from a County Sheriff's Office, to a county police department change how the laws are enforced, phy? What "improvement" (other than your desire to remove the current sheriff) would there be in law enforcement? Whether the sheriff is elected by the people, or appointed by the County (to serve at the pleasure of the County Executive and Council), there will be politics involved.

phydeaux994

The relationship between Sheriff Jenkins and the current County Government is not acceptable in my opinion. The Sheriff regularly and openly shows his hostility toward Jan and the Democratic Council Members he hates. The Sheriff has misrepresented “his” 287(g) Program as a Law Enforcement panacea that he has used to singlehandedly rid Frederick County of 1300 illegal aliens including over 100 certified MS13 members. So he says, with not a lick of evidence that would back that up. And if you ask him for that evidence he says “I can’t tell you, you have to get that from ICE”. My gripe isn’t with the FCSO, it’s with Chuck Jenkins. Do you disagree gab? Let’s hear your side of the story.

pdl603

You mean the three time loser, Bickel?

neilyoungfan25

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Hayduke2

Use your words...

Plumbum

[thumbup][thumbup]

threecents

Kinda of ironic for Blaine to be calling out people for losing elections.

C.D.Reid

Wow, nothing from Pb yet. I guess her boss is making her earn her pay for a change. [lol]

Blueline

A better approach to make your case would be to present the pros & cons of each method, rather than just blanket statements that "this will be a better system." Also, holding Prince George's County up as an example we should aspire to emulate does not bode well for the argument.

C.D.Reid

I agree. P.G. County is but one excellent example of what is desperately wrong with this state, followed by MoCo, Howard, Baltimore, and Baltimore City. Frederick City was a good town until the influx of leftists turned it into a liberal cesspool. And I highly doubt if Republicans will ever govern it again. And the same goes with the position of County Executive. Which is exactly why I think this writer is implying we would be better off with the government controlling county law enforcement. Has he not learned from the mistakes of other "progressive" municipalities? Obviously not.

public-redux

If those other jurisdictions didn’t have a county police force but only a sheriff’s department, would you be arguing against the latter.?

neilyoungfan25

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

The only change I would like to see is to make the new County police officer effective as soon as the current incumbent election expires. Let's get it now! Then we can make sure that the County police officer answers to the County, who pays the wages and any lawsuits. Let's GET IT DONE!

pdl603

Sure why not Dick. Let’s let the county executive pick and choose which laws to enforce. Being responsible to the people is what we need not to the political hack that sits in the county exec’s chair.

DickD

Pick and choose? Something like the radical Republicans supporting a resurrection? Something like supporting a gangster, Trump? If you are a Trump supporter, you do not believe in law and order. It is really hard on genuine Republicans who will not support your gangster ex-POTUS, Trump.

gabrielshorn2013

Jeez, dick, your TDS really takes over you sometimes. What did any of your post have to do with the subject? It's OK. Breathe deep and repeat after me, "Bad orange man is gone, bad orange man is gone, bad orange man is gone" As for resurrection, I believe a good many Democrats support that too. Even some independents [innocent]

mgoose806

The writer makes the assumption that there will be a Democratic County Executive and majority Democratic County Council elected in 2022. Neither is a lock…like the five counties he speaks. Nobody is moving into those counties by the thousands like Frederick. Wonder why that is?

DickD

mgoose, where do you see the assumption you mention here, I can't find it, it isn't even inferred. You are daydreaming!

Hayduke2

Really, a well trained and professional police force that is not led by an elected politican is a Democratic issue. Here, I thought it was about representing all the residents with a well trained and professional police force.

nbouqu1

wrong. Frederick County's population as of the 2010 Census: 233,385. 2020 Census: 271,717 (net gain of 38,332). Montgomery County 2010: 971,777), 2020: 1,062,061 (net gain of 90,284). AA was up 51K, Howard about 45K, and PG was up over 100K. Balto COUNTY was up 49K. The City continues to loose population mirroring nationwide trends over the last 40 years or so.

nbouqu1

https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/pop.html

yogib

A service provided by law enforcemnt needs to have a direct line of authority. Just to say the taxpayers is weak tea. Given all of the screw ups and racial discrimination we have seen from Jenkins over years, there has been no accountibility. Frederick cannot keep relying on an andtiquated law political enforcement. We need professional law enforcement. This letter writer is absolutely correct.

DickD

Amen, yogib, Amen!

mgoose806

Another Sheriff Jenkins hit piece.

artandarchitecture

I choose to stick with *electing* a Frederick Co. Sheriff who can be held accountable by legal voters for the job he does.

Btw, The Victims of Illegal Immigration, 3rd Edition is now available free of charge.

Get yours today!

https://usinc.org/booklet-remembers-the-victims-of-illegal-immigration/

marinick1

[smile][smile][thumbup] artandarchitecture. [thumbup]

phydeaux994

We would still “elect” a Sheriff who could be held accountable by legal voters for the job he/she does. We just wouldn’t have one who keeps racking up losing lawsuits for illegally questioning people about their immigration status. Immigration violations are a civil offense not a criminal offense and are enforced by ICE Federal Agents.

BigAl

Another bureaucracy to suck down tax dollars Just what we need At least we get to vote for a sheriff

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup] Exactly, BigAl. I've voted for Sheriff Jenkins before, and will do so again, proudly! [smile]

C.D.Reid

Agreed, 100% Jenkins 2022!!!!! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

C.D.Reid

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

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