People for a County Police: A Rally or a Fiasco?I recently...


August 07, 1994

People for a County Police: A Rally or a Fiasco?

I recently attended the "grand opening" of the headquarters of the People for a County Police. Unfortunately, neither The Sun for Harford County nor any other Harford County newspaper sent a reporter to cover the event. . . .

The grand opening was . . . not so grand. Although the People for a County Police invited the public, representatives of law enforcement agencies and every politician in Harford County to attend its grand opening and had enough catered food to feed hundreds, only three politicians showed up. Guests, other than members of the police union, were at all times outnumbered by a small group of protesters, including me, who carried picket signs opposing a county police.

(Actually, Phil Barker and Joanne Parrot did drive by on Bond Street Sunday afternoon. Experienced politicians, they were apparently able to spot a political flop from their moving vehicles at 50 yards and kept on driving.)

Although the event was billed as a "family" affair, few kids were in attendance. This is probably fortunate in that it spared them the experience of seeing a union police officer screaming obscenities and threatening the protesters.

The kiddies might, however, have found it interesting to watch Bob Hockaday and Randy Schultz, county employers and Rehrmann operatives, making calls throughout the afternoon on their nifty pocket flip phones. Had some enterprising reporter been present, he might have asked them if Harford County citizens were paying for their mobile phone calls at this political event.

Admittedly, the People for a County Police have an uphill battle. They have to sell Harford County voters on the idea that they should give up their right to elect the head of their police department, the sheriff, and give that right to the county executive. The theme of their campaign, as I understand it, is "democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be."

I personally was disappointed that County Executive Eileen Rehrmann failed to show up. I wanted to ask her why she thought voters should surrender their rights to chose the leader of their police to her. Did her busy schedule on this Sunday afternoon prevent her from stopping by or did Schultz and Hockaday advise her, at taxpayer expense, that the grand opening was not so grand?

Carl Klockars

Newark, Del.

The writer is a consultant to the Maryland Sheriffs Association.

Let the People Decide

I take issue with the column titled "They'll Take Stands, Except on this Issue," which was written by Michael Burns and appeared in the Harford edition of The Sun on Sunday, July 31.

In the article, Mr. Burns attacked those of us running for office because we did not take a stand on the issue of a county-wide police force vs. the present sheriff's department.

He stated that many political hopefuls avoided this issue when they answered The Sun's endorsement questionnaire by saying, The voters will decide the issue and I will abide by their decision."

That was my reply and I was not avoiding the issue. Too many times the voters do not have the opportunity to decide directly the major issues confronting them. Most of the time, these issues are decided by a pocketful of politicians.

On this issue, it is the voters, and not the politicians, who will decide the matter.

To state my views on this subject will not influence any well-informed voter. I will take my stand on this issue along with other Harford Countians on Sept. 13 when I vote in the primary election.

B. Dan Riley


E9 The writer is a candidate for the House of Delegates.

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