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Sheriff's Office Praised at Public Hearing

Several residents spoke highly of the sheriff's office, recently under fire from the state's attorney.

A half dozen residents attended a Monday night to offer praise and support for the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, which has come under recent criticism.

The sheriff's office is working for reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Accreditation is a voluntary process that includes a team of assessors examining all aspects of the Carroll County policy and procedures, management, operations and support services.

Part of the accreditation process includes a public hearing to gather feedback from the community.

As , the sheriff's office has recently been from State's Attorney Jerry Barnes who accused the sheriff of botching at least one murder case.

Michelle Jefferson, who said she was speaking on behalf of herself as well as We the People Carroll County, showed her support of the sheriff at Monday night's public hearing.

"I'm here to be a cheerleader for the sheriff's department for a multitude of reasons," Jefferson said. "I stood with the sheriff's department when they wanted to become the primary law enforcement agency in Carroll County."

Last summer the Sheriff's Office began a from the Maryland State Police Resident Trooper Program.

Jefferson said that sheriff's deputies have always acted professionally when providing security for We the People rallies.

"Any time there have been issues, which have been few, they handled them in a very professional manner," Jefferson said.

Jefferson said that she knows there have been "hiccups" along the way, but "nothing that should stop things from moving forward."

George Otto III echoed Jefferson's sentiments.

"I think we've got one of the greatest sheriff's departments in the country," Otto said.

Otto acknowledged that "nothing is perfect" but said he wants to see the sheriff's office get re-accredited.

Bob Kurland said that he supports the sheriff's department, which he said "has been under attack by the press of late."

"When everybody said 'can't do,' when we had a hobo jungle here and nobody could figure out whose jurisdiction it was in ... the sheriff stepped up to the plate and cleaned it up," Kurland said, referring to the recent on Rt. 27 at the Rt. 140 overpass.

The assessors said that the comments received at this public hearing and during the phone-in period will be put into a report and submitted to the commission, which will make the decision on accreditation status.

Steven R. Ramalski April 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Michelle Jefferson runs for every office she can put in for and never wins. She's not the brightest wannabe politician in the county. "A few hiccups".....a murderer was cut loose because of the sheriff and his men. Are you kidding me? How would Ms. Jefferson like it if this happened in her neighborhood? What does this accredidation really mean anyway. Aparently it meant nothing while they were investigating the two homicides they messed up. Sounds like something the county just dumps money into. Pros? I don't think so. No sticker on the side of your car is going to replace the total screw up you've made. I'm sure the homeless people ran when they saw that seal on the side of the deputies cars....."OMG, they are accredited we better get out of here!" What a joke!!!!
Buck Harmon April 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM
What is the difference between voluntary re accreditation and additional new training that might help to avoid more serious future screw ups..... This sounds like a token effort, or band aid fix to me. Accredited killers continue to roam the streets of Carroll. Are there plans for better training or do we all think that time and support groups will make it better?
John D. Witiak April 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Wait a minute. The deputies, in my view, are first class public servants who are sensitive to the community while upholding the law. I've been both very supportive of the concept where the Sheriff's Department is the county's primary law enforcement agency as well as highly critical of the Sheriff's Department's top administration regarding the recent murder cases. The department has been on the right path under Sheriff Tregoning and, except for the recent incidents which have brought the integrity of the Sheriff and his top administrators into question, I believe the Sheriff has otherwise set a high standard, which his deputies achieve. If news reports are accurate, however, it seems to me that a few heads in the department's administration need to roll before integrity and trust will be restored; that is if re-accredidation of the department is to mean anything. Certainly, if the State Police drag their feet on the international investigation of the department the distrust of those whose job it is to enforce our laws will only grow. Hopefully the state's investigation will provide results soon and the Sheriff and his department can join Carroll County Public Schools as among the best in the nation and re-accredidation will be granted by those who decide such matters.
Buck Harmon April 18, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I am of the belief that the office of Sheriff is the highest form of public protection in the United States. That being said... I don't believe that many Sheriffs & deputies have been trained to understand their oath to uphold the Constitution first and foremost... this is real protection. The Sheriff...being the highest legal enforcement authority allowed by the Constitution should demonstrate at all times , flawless behavior with regard to these most serious responsibilities. If failure looms with public dis-trust because of bad decisions within the department, investigations won't improve the failure. Positive action in the form of education and training should be occurring now, being relentlessly led by our elected Constitutional Sheriff.. Please educate me if I am off base here.... It is not OK for the Sheriff to side step this issue with illusion.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) April 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Thanks for your comments JoAnn, and I'm sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Just to clarify, the accreditation process that the Sheriff's Office is currently undergoing is completely separate from the independent investigation surrounding specific cases. This accreditation is an ongoing, voluntary process. There are 480 standards that this accreditation commission looks at and if the Sheriff's Office proves to be meeting those standards, they will likely receive accreditation. Every three years, if the Sheriff chooses to be re-accredited, assessors will come in and go through this process that includes this public hearing and verification that standards are being met. Hope that makes sense.
John D. Witiak April 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Wait a minute. The deputies, in my view, are first class public servants who are sensitive to the community while upholding the law. I've been both very supportive of the concept where the Sheriff's Department is the county's primary law enforcement agency as well as highly critical of the Sheriff's Department's top administration regarding the recent murder cases. The department has been on the right path under Sheriff Tregoning and, except for the recent incidents which have brought the integrity of the Sheriff and his top administrators into question, I believe the Sheriff has otherwise set a high standard, which his deputies achieve. If news reports are accurate, however, it seems to me that a few heads in the department's administration need to roll before integrity and trust will be restored; that is if re-accredidation of the department is to mean anything. Certainly, if the State Police drag their feet on the internal investigation of the department the distrust of those whose job it is to enforce our laws will only grow. Hopefully the state's investigation will provide results soon and the Sheriff and his department can join Carroll County Public Schools as among the best in the nation and re-accredidation will be granted by those who decide such matters.
Michelle Jefferson April 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The deputies go through the same training as the MD state police. What we're all missing is that we are all human and make mistakes-I highly doubt the mistakes made in the recent murder investigation were intentionally committed. When Tregoning realized this mistake, HE called for the investigation-to me, that's to be commended, especially when we live in a world of cover ups by way too many of our elected officials. Very few sheriff departments have this important accreditation. We need more sheriff departments to earn it and to become the primary law enforcement of their areas. The sheriff is the only constitutionally recognized law enforcement agency in the land. Let's wait for the investigation to be completed, the facts to be shown and go from there before we tar, feather and run them from the flag pole.
David J Iacono April 18, 2012 at 05:49 PM
What can you say about an endorsement from Jefferson and Otto. Their motto is "don't believe your lying eyes." They would give a thumbs up to Fred Flintstone if he were sheriff. It seems messing up a murder investigation that resulted in the perpetrators walking free and charges thrown out in a second homicide because of unethical behavior and possibly criminal behavor by investigators involved in the first, i.e.,perjury charges pending, is no small matter.
Michelle Jefferson April 18, 2012 at 06:29 PM
this coming from Mr. Perfect and grand poo-bah of excrement spinning. Davy, no one said anything was a small matter other than you and the murder investigation wasn't even part of the article. You should have exercised your First Amendment right to speak at the public hearing instead of hiding behind your keyboard now. Or, here's a thought-put your money where your mouth is and run for an office-put your platform out there for others to accept or reject-or just remain an agitator.
Buck Harmon April 18, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Perjury would be intentional Michelle...In order for the Sheriff department to function at a higher level (required in my opinion) they must be properly and constantly trained at an even higher level than the State Police are... At this level huge mistakes like the ones recently made by the Sheriff are not just your average dumb ..we're only human type. I expect the Sheriff to be on top of his Constitutional responsibility at all times. Praise and atta boy stuff should come after success, not a sequence of failures. Killers walk... that's not keeping the public safe by any means.
Buck Harmon April 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM
JoAnn, I completely agree with you regarding the comparison between State Police and the Sheriff. I promote a Constitutional Sheriff but also realize the set back because of sloppy, questionable actions performed by the current department. I really don't think that this particular Sheriff has taken his Constitutional authority and responsibility seriously at this point. Respect and trust by the public will be hard to restore if more serious actions are not taking place NOW. Any perceived assault on the department is a direct result of bad actions taken by the department. Other than a State led investigation what steps (if any) are currently being taken to improve this tragic situation? Igave up on the State a long time ago, our hope does in fact lye with in the Sheriff, but only if he is on top of his game..
Buck Harmon April 18, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Sad to see that Michelle is still name calling and poo slinging. When you run out of logical points I guess that is all that's left to offer.....odd..
David J Iacono April 18, 2012 at 09:19 PM
What can I say Michelle. There is no one better at excrement spinning than yourself. When you get a chance, take a look in the mirror.
Buck Harmon April 19, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Not sure I understand this one JoAnn...
Buck Harmon April 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM
The message..Sheriff's office praised...the messenger..Kym Byrnes...who is attacking Kym? Michelle offered no message, only displaced praise from what I have read. If Michelle continues to make dumb statements that pertain to the message, she gets what she gets...part of a blog arena. How has the debate been lost here JoAnn?
Buck Harmon April 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Pending Approval sucks...
Kym Byrnes (Editor) April 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Buck, I am under the impression that the technical glitch Patch was experiencing yesterday that prohibited comments from posting was fixed. Do you still have comments that are "pending"? If you have comments from yesterday that are pending, you may want to re-post them as the backlog from 865 sites might be holding things up. But if you posted comments today that aren't appearing, please let me know as today's comments should be appearing immediately. Again, I apologize and appreciate your willingness to engage in spite of the technical bugs.

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