Five Carroll County deputy sheriffs who feared they would not get a fair shot at new jobs if a county police force is formed had those worries quelled in a meeting with the county commissioners yesterday.
The officers, all members of the Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA), were concerned over rumors from other law enforcement agencies that the jobs would be offered only to state police and that they would be left out.
Neal Wuethrich, a deputy sheriff and president of the local chapter of MCEA, told the commissioners of rampant rumors that only Maryland State Police troopers would be able to transfer their seniority, longevity and rank to jobs on a possible county force. Others, including deputy sheriffs, would have to begin at the bottom.
The commissioners told Mr. Wuethrich the rumors were false, that the question of who could transfer into the county force had never been discussed, but that everyone recruited would be given equal consideration.
"We have made no decision on a county force or their qualifications," Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said.
"But when we do, all applicants will be considered on equal standing," she said.
The commissioners have said that if they ever lost the Resident Trooper Program because of state police cutbacks, those officers could possibly be the nucleus of the force, but not exclusive of others who may apply.
A study commission last summer suggested ways to organize a county police force if the commissioners decide to start one.
Under the proposal, a county force would be phased in while the county's participation in the state's Resident Trooper Program would gradually end.