As your Sheriff, I plan to create a Citizens’ Advisory Committee to help keep the dialog flowing, back and forth, between the Sheriff’s Office and Calvert County’s citizen and business communities.

The Citizens’ Advisory Committee will not examine specific complaints against personnel. That will be the responsibility of the Police Accountability Board, which will start work on July 1, 2022 as required by state law. The members of the Police Accountability Board will be selected by our county commissioners.

The committee I will build will be made up of 10 or so people from all walks of life in Calvert County. Ideally, we will have a diverse group of members from all facets of our community, including, for example, the clergy, the health department, the school system, the Chamber of Commerce, business owners, service organizations, the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse as well as the NAACP and other minority groups. In general, people who care as much as I do will be invited to take part in the advisory panel.

The committee will meet quarterly at the Sheriff’s Office in Prince Frederick. Both Ronnie Naughton, who will be my Assistant Sheriff, and I will attend those sessions personally. We will not designate anyone to stand in our stead. However, if, for some reason, either one or both of us must attend to other business, a commander from one of our Sheriff’s Office bureaus will sit in and will brief us later on what was discussed. The committee will be a top level priority. No deputies will be assigned to this task, only senior officers.

The idea behind the Citizens’ Advisory Committee is simple: We will discuss any and all issues any member cares to bring up, everything from office staffing to drug trafficking, from speed cameras to surveillance at trouble spots. Nothing will be off the table.

Our hope is that we will hear some positive feedback. That means we are doing our jobs. But we also want to hear about where we may be falling down on the job, even slightly, so we can improve on every facet of our performance. The only way we can do better is if we learn firsthand from the people we serve exactly where our shortcomings might be.

With that kind of information in hand, we can work to improve. We may never be perfect. But under my watch, we will always strive to be.