Carroll County Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning has presented a law enforcement master plan to county officials, recommending hiring 38 deputies over the next five years and paying for them by collecting fees for housing more federal detainees awaiting deportation.
"The bottom line of this master plan is to have better law enforcement in Carroll County," said Tregoning, who reported that the county has 1.3 sworn police officers for each 1,000 residents. "That is the lowest rate in the state [including Baltimore and 23 counties] and well below the state average of 2.8 officers per 1,000 citizens." The national average for officers per 1,000 citizens is 2.5, he said.
The master plan was completed at the request of county officials. Tregoning presented his recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on Monday and released them to the public yesterday.
The commissioners have not set a deadline for accepting or rejecting the proposals. Seven additional deputies would be hired in each of the next four fiscal years, according to the plan. The cost of 38 new deputies would be $7.6 million -- to be paid for by housing prisoners for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The county has an open-ended contract with the INS and is holding 14 federal detainees at the Carroll County Detention Center. The county collects more than $63 a day in federal money for each INS detainee.
By July 1, Tregoning said INS officials can provide 70 detainees to be housed at the Westminster jail. That total projects $1.6 million in additional county revenue in fiscal 2001, which begins July 1. The INS revenue projected for the next four years is nearly $8.1 million.