Mutual aid agreement extended by county Police officers could help outside jurisdiction

December 23, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The county commissioners decided yesterday to offer municipal law enforcement agencies a police mutual aid agreement similar to one signed last month with the mayor and Town Council of Sykesville.

That agreement, which clarified the circumstances during which municipal officers may leave town limits to render assistance, was made formal in a written agreement. Previously, towns presumed they were covered for liability under the state's mutual aid laws until Sykesville raised the issue about four years ago.

No municipal officers have been injured outside town limits while assisting another police agency, but officials in Sykesville wanted assurances that its officers had sufficient coverage.

Chiefs in municipal police departments polled two years ago agreed that their officers would not hesitate to assist.

Maryland State Police assigned to the Westminster barracks in the Resident Trooper Program serve as a countywide police force, with the county essentially paying their salaries and benefits.

County Attorney Laurell E. Taylor said some municipalities might not want a formal agreement, and others might want different wording. She said the commissioners will soon contact town mayors, offering similar agreements.

Pub Date: 12/23/98

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