Happy spring to everyone! Along with the change of season, there are new ideas and positive changes happening at the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office. We are starting to implement plans and forge partnerships that will improve delivery of service, better protect our communities, and strengthen courthouse security.
The first 100 days in office were busy, and we faced challenges to begin the process of modernizing and moving the office forward. After being sworn in December 2018, I quickly worked with my team to review the budget, identify deficiencies and assess agency needs. We faced significant problems with lagging technology, a significant lack of strategic planning and a budget projected to be significantly overspent by the end of the fiscal year. We are fortunate to have such dedicated employees in the sheriff’s office and county government, who moved quickly to help implement much needed change.
I have to thank the county Office of Information Technology for its fast action to replace aging computers and monitors, which have already improved efficiency and enhanced courthouse security. To address the looming budget shortfall, I implemented spending controls that have already reduced the projected shortage. No modern government agency or business can move forward without a strategic plan, which did not exist in the sheriff’s office. That strategy is now being written and will help guide agency planning for years to come.
Perhaps one of the most significant changes at the sheriff’s office during the first few months has been the addition of new Chief Deputy Francis Tewey. The chief deputy position, which holds the rank of colonel, is the second-highest position in the office and is appointed by the sheriff. Colonel Tewey is a 30-year veteran law enforcement officer who retired at the rank of captain from the Anne Arundel County Police Department on February 28, 2019. He was appointed to his position in the sheriff’s office on March 1. Colonel Tewey has a wealth of knowledge, particularly in law enforcement technology, and will be an incredible asset to the sheriff’s office. He is a graduate of Salisbury University, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Colonel Tewey is a dedicated husband and father, and commits a significant amount of his time to the service of others. He is the director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Maryland and has been working with Special Olympics programs for 10 years. Although he just started with the office in March, Tewey worked on my transition team since December 2018. He has been a driving force in forming the new direction for the sheriff’s office.
During my campaign, I promised to address the increased number of outstanding warrants in our county. We have gathered data, looked at innovative approaches and are quickly formulating the plan to begin to reduce the backlog. As part of the plan, the county cable show known as “Anne Arundel’s Most Wanted” is changing to “On The Lookout.” The new show will not highlight just a few wanted subjects. Instead, there will be dozens of names and faces, along with information to help sheriff’s deputies locate wanted persons throughout the county and in our neighborhoods. The show will also include a new warrant tip line to allow viewers to immediately call and leave an anonymous message with information about someone highlighted on the program. The tip line is 410-LOOKOUT (410-566-5688) and will be active when the show airs in April.
Stay tuned to the show and stay informed about the important role the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office plays in keeping our communities safe. And remember, I’ll see you “on the lookout!”