If elected as your sheriff, my deputies will practice what I call “community policing.”  They will adopt a neighborhood as their own. They will drive through that neighborhood, stop their cars, get out and talk to the people who live there. They’ll attend homeowners association meetings, visit local community centers and attend PTA meetings.

If they see a group of parents who are chatting while watching their kids at play, they will stop and chat, asking how things are going and what their concerns might be. If they see a group of teens playing a pick-up game of basketball or football, they’ll stop, introduce themselves and perhaps hoist a few shots or throw the ball around as they get to know the neighborhood’s young adults.
In all cases, deputies will offer their business cards and cell phone numbers and make sure our citizens, both young and old, know they can call on them, not just in times of strife but also if they just need to talk or let off some steam.

The same goes for Calvert’s businesses. As a deterrent, deputies will patrol shopping areas. People up to no good may think twice if they see one of our black-and-whites. But beyond that, they’ll leave their vehicles, talk to shoppers, chat with business owners and generally get to know Calvert’s people. Again, they will ask about any issues they may be having and leave their cards and numbers so folks know they are just a phone call away.

Our deputies also will perform security checks on request so businesses can learn where to place cameras or alarms. And eventually, I'd like to have a deputy assigned to manage a list of businesses in the county so they can be notified immediately about crimes in one part of the county that may be coming to their area. We’ll even send photos of the perpetrators if we have them so business people will be able to identify criminals as they walk in the door.

This type of policing is the modern, more rural version of the bygone days when cops in urban areas walked a beat. If elected as your Sheriff, I will assign deputies to every neighborhood and shopping area, one for each shift. They’ll interact with people and show them, there is actually no need to fear them. Our Calvert County community will know that our deputies are not the bad guys. They’re real people just like everyone else, perhaps even with the same concerns. And under my watch, they will be approachable.

The way I see it, information is a two-way street. It flows much better when people can speak more openly. That’s why we want everyone to see us, meet us and interact with us. And that’s why we will be proactive.

After 33 years serving you as a Deputy Sheriff, I retired in late 2020. But I am not going away, at least not quietly. In that regard, I wanted to share directly with you my plans if I am blessed with being elected in November. I know it’s early. Indeed, some people have wondered why there are so many campaign signs up so soon. But the primaries are in July, only a few months from now, so it’s never too early to get your message out.

I am basing my campaign on a number of issues that impact all of Calvert County. But today, I wanted to talk to you about one of the most pressing problems our communities face, DRUGS. As you know, drugs are an issue everywhere, including right here in Calvert County where drug arrests are increasing rather than decreasing. I ought to know. During the last two years of my tenure, I worked as an undercover officer and supervisor trying to stem the tide.

Yes, arrests for heroin are down. But arrests are up significantly for fentanyl, crack cocaine and even marijuana. As you know, fentanyl is a killer. It is a synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine. And if people who use it aren’t careful, they are dead.

Truth be told, there are the same number of officers working the drug beat today as there were a dozen years ago. In 2021, the fewest number of deputies in more than a half-dozen years were assigned to the narcotics section. In a time when the drug war is becoming increasingly more challenging for law enforcement, the resources to fight the war have lagged behind.

To my way of thinking, the Sheriff’s Office has to take a much more proactive and targeted approach. Here’s what I plan to do:

* First, I will assign more deputies to drug enforcement. We will go after suppliers, not just street-corner dealers.

* I will work much more closely with other law enforcement agencies, including police departments in our neighboring counties as well as federal task forces and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

* We cannot arrest our way out of the problem. Therefore, I plan to increase our educational effort about the hazards of drug use. Starting in our elementary schools and carrying through to our middle schools, we will re-emphasize our participation in the DARE drug awareness program and will work with the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse.  And when requested, we will send deputies to our schools to talk to our children directly.

* We can’t return addicts back to the streets without trying to help them kick their habits; intervention, education, mental health assistance and assistance with gainful employment are key to the rehabilitation process.  Consequently, we will expand our partnership with the Calvert County Health Department’s mobile crisis team to get drug abusers the help they need, both before we put them behind bars as well as before they are released.

As your Sheriff, I pledge to you that I will take these and other practical steps to keep our county as drug-free as possible.