Sheriff Robert G. Pepersack wants to expand the role of the sheriff's department, but he has no plans to invade law enforcement territory.
Pepersack announced yesterday that he has formed a nine-member panel to study "the changing role of the sheriff's office within our criminal justice system. . . . An analysis of our role, mission and function is long overdue."
Unlike some other sheriff's departments in Maryland, however, this one has no plans to enter the realm of law enforcement, said Patrick Ogle, a sheriff's spokesman.
"We feel there's a place for the sheriff's department somewhere between the law enforcement side and thecorrections side," Ogle said. "We aren't looking to take over the Detention Center
(which is managed as a separate county agency). Andwe have a fine law enforcement community, with the state police, thecounty police and the Annapolis city police.
"We don't need another organization out there trying to slice into that pie."
Pepersack wants the committee to look at possible long-term expansion of civil functions, such as delivering citations from various county departments and agencies. Earlier this year, the sheriff's department began serving citations from the Department of Planning and Zoning.
"These are mundane things the police department doesn't want to get involved in. . . . It's piddling stuff," Ogle said.
"We're giving this committee a free hand," Ogle said.
Delegate John Astle, D-Annapolis and a former Baltimore City police officer, will chair the committee.
Other members are Councilman Carl G. "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena; Daniel Klosterman of Glen Burnie, a member of the county's Spending Affordability Committee; Matthew Thomas of Annapolis, a member of the Black Political Forum; Laurence Vincent of Annapolis, a Republicanactivist; John Greiber of Annapolis; Billy Thompson of Anne Arundel Community College; Steven Welkos of the county budget office; and Capt. James Hutson of the county police department.
The group will begin meeting this month and is scheduled to make recommendations to the sheriff by Nov. 1.
The sheriff's department now handles securityof the judges and circuit court, service of civil court papers, service of criminal and juvenile court papers, criminal warrants, parole violations and security of district court lockups.