County Police Audit Urges Extra Officer For Crofton Force

August 14, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

A county police audit of the Crofton Police Department recommends that the special tax district hire another police officer for its five-member force.

Town Manager Jordan Harding said the report concludes that the police chief, Sgt. Deborah Bogush, spends too much time onpatrol and not enough time handling administrative work in the station.

"I am convinced another officer is needed," he said. "The chief should spend more time in the office than on the street," Harding said.

The report, completed by a team of three county police officers earlier month, will not be made public. Harding, who requested the audit two months ago, said it contains many recommendations about police investigative procedure and must remain confidential.

Harding said he requested the audit to make sure the department met county standards. The Crofton department, with a $250,000 annual budget, is usedto supplement county police patrols in theunincorporated community.

When two officers were out last month on extended sick leave, the Crofton department could not cover all shifts. The county department added extra patrols in the community to help out.

Harding said oneof the officers is back on duty and the other is scheduled to returnFriday.

Three civic association members contacted yesterday declined to comment on the report, saying they either had not read the audit or wanted to wait until the fiscal 1993 budget is discussed next month before saying anything.

Harding said an additional officer could cost the community between $40,000 and $50,000, which includes salary, insurance and other costs. The community has three police cars -- two marked and one unmarked -- but Harding said another one will not be needed.

While releasing few specific details, Harding said the audit found no glaring deficiencies in the department.

"There are no areas listed in the report that would be of particular concern in terms of the level of police protection," he said. "The report said Crofton has a well-trained police force with a good deal of experience -- a credit to the community."


In other news, BlockbusterVideo told civic association board members Monday night that it would remove a controversial sign from the front of a store along Route 3, directly opposite one of the main entrances to the community.

Jack K. Levin, vice president for development of UI Video Stores Inc., the Denver-based corporation that owns the Blockbuster chain, told the civic association he thought the sign was out of character with thesurrounding neighborhood.

"What I saw was a pretty large sign in front of the store that probably could be replaced by a smaller sign," he said. The sign, which resembles a torn movie ticket,stands on a 20-foot pole and is 20 feet long and 10 feet high.

Levin said he would have an architect draw up plans for a new sign and submit them before the board.

The only concern he said was that people driving north on Route 3 be able to see it.

"I don't think there will be any chance that the sign will be there once the recommendation is made," he said.

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