With Election Day approaching, we asked each candidate for sheriff to share his priorities for office so Anne Arundel County residents can make a decision before heading to the polls on November 8.
My office has made significant strides in safety, security, outreach and diversity. Here are my goals for the next four years.
Expand community outreach: The sheriff’s office greatly expanded public outreach through social media platforms, the new sheriff’s mobile app, and annual participation in dozens of organized community programs. My office has embraced transparency through voluntary use of force reporting, creation of an online warrant database, and participation in the county’s open performance website. Additionally, the sheriff’s office has developed strong relationships with partner agencies, community groups, and local business groups to enhance public knowledge of the agency and its duties. If re-elected, I will continue to enhance community outreach efforts through commitment to full-time media and public relations duties, expanded public access to information about sheriff’s office and court issues, and even greater face-to-face community engagement.
Improve community safety: As your sheriff, I have implemented a body-worn-camera (BWC) program and added a professional standards investigative unit to keep up with the demands of police reform laws. New warrant initiatives have begun to reduce the number of outstanding county warrants, and my first-in-Maryland Safe Surrender program incentivizes self-turn-in of persons with a warrant and has led to a 100% increase of monthly self-turn-ins over the last year. I expanded office capabilities by securing a new field operations facility, which allows for a safer work environment for staff, new classroom and physical training areas, and a new canine center. Moving forward, I will maintain and improve community safety through modern initiatives like the BWC and Safe Surrender programs, expanded training methods, and technologies to ensure rapid service of new court orders for domestic violence cases and criminal warrants.
Create a model court security structure: During my first term, I modernized court security practices utilizing national standards. Combining physical and technological enhancements has put us on track to become a model for courthouse security. I will continue to enhance court security planning and implementation to make the Anne Arundel County circuit court building the safest place for citizens and employees to work, visit, and conduct the business of the court.
While the sheriff is responsible for security of the circuit court and ensures that all orders from the court are executed, as the head of the agency, I think it’s also necessary to tackle other community problems.
During the past several years, our communities have been plagued by opioid use and its effects. The Office of the Sheriff cannot afford to continually sit on the sidelines; we need to be proactive in dealing with this societal issue that has attacked our community. Under my leadership, relationships with other law enforcement agencies will be re-established and information involving drug and other criminal activity will be shared. Individuals in our custody who exhibit signs of addiction or who request treatment will be connected to the appropriate county program to assist them. If we can help those in need before they return to society, maybe they’ll have a real opportunity to succeed. My plan will help to reduce the recidivism rate and quality of life crimes associated with drug addiction.
Victims of domestic violence usually live in silence, believing that law enforcement has failed them. I want the Office of the Sheriff to serve as an advocate for victims to give them their voice back. Many victims of domestic violence feel abandoned after the initial law enforcement intervention. However, under my plan, we will develop a meaningful relationship with victims that will provide them with the ability to move on from their volatile relationships. The Office of the Sheriff will work directly with the victim and the office of the state’s attorney to ensure that all court orders are adhered to by the abuser. We will work to assure the victims they are not alone and that we are there for them.
The number of open warrants has been a problem for the past two administrations. It is my plan to assign an appropriate number of civilian investigators, opposed to using sworn members, to conduct comprehensive background investigations on wanted individuals. This will provide deputies additional productive time to look for wanted individuals within our county.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here