Sykesville police chief requests 2 more officers for department SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

February 25, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Sykesville Police Chief Wallace P. "Mitch" Mitchell has asked the Town Council to give him two more police officers, one to fill a longtime vacancy in his department.

"We have been down a man for nearly four years," he said. "We need him and one other."

The chief made the request at Monday's council meeting based on the increase in arrests by town police last year.

"We have had a significant increase in adult crime, especially in drug arrests," he said. "That is in all types of drugs, too. LSD is making a comeback."

The department now includes the chief and four police officers. In addition to law enforcement, the officers conduct crime prevention programs and work with youth groups.

"The council is aware of our needs," he said. "It comes down to a matter of economics."

Chief Mitchell said he is willing to hire untrained officers, but the $20,000-a-year starting salary probably won't draw experienced candidates to Sykesville.

"We can't be competitive," he said, "but we can fill the positions."

Inexperienced applicants would go through a 20-week training program at an area police academy, probably in Hagerstown or Baltimore County.

New officers would receive additional training with the Sykesville department.

"The chief has trained officers here so well that we lose them to Westminster," said Councilman Jonathan Herman.

The department also needs mobile radio units, which would cost about $4,000 each, for its three police cruisers, Chief Mitchell said.

Officers now carry portable radios.

The new equipment would automatically scan calls to state police, the county sheriff's office and the town's Police Department.

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