House votes to give police in Crofton state certification

March 06, 1994|By Staff Report

A bill that would grant Maryland Police Training Commission certification to the Crofton Police Department was passed by the House of Delegates Friday on a vote of 132-1.

The measure would give Crofton's five officers protection under the state Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights and would entitle them to coverage under a national insurance policy that pays $100,000 to survivors of an officer killed in the line of duty.

In addition, certification could place the department in line to receive state and federal grants, and make it easier for officers to transfer to jobs in other jurisdictions without having to go back to the police academy for recertification.

Del. Dana Lee Dembrow, a Montgomery County Democrat, cast the lone vote against the bill. He also cast the lone opposing vote when the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure 20-1 on Feb. 25.

"It strikes me that if Crofton wants police powers, they ought to incorporate like any other community," Mr. Dembrow said Friday afternoon.

Crofton is not incorporated as a city or town. It is a special community benefit district, with the power to tax to finance public services such as the police.

It has had its own police department for about 25 years under the authority of the Anne Arundel County police.

Mr. Dembrow said the question is not whether Crofton's police are qualified but whether their certification would set a precedent of allowing community associations and other groups start their own police departments.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

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