Carroll County's Sheriff's Department plans to begin round-the-clock operations May 1, Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning said yesterday, as his office tries to keep pace with an increase in local crime that often accompanies a growing population.
Immediate plans include the addition of an administrator, five deputies and six correctional officers to staff the department 24 hours a day, seven days a week, said Tregoning, who took the elective office in December 1998. He discussed the change yesterday as he outlined his five-year plan for the department at the request of the Carroll commissioners.
Tregoning seeks 31 new posts during the five-year period, including 27 deputies and correctional officers, and four civilians.
Although Maryland State Police resident troopers provide Carroll's primary law enforcement, sheriff's deputies serve court papers, patrol the county and perform investigative work, responsibilities performed from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.
The most immediate benefit for the public might be that protective orders could become available at any time, meaning that a domestic violence case could be handled immediately, no matter the time of day. Those cases often are handled the morning after they are reported.
Carroll has 1.4 sworn law enforcement officers from all agencies per 1,000 people - half the state average and the lowest of any jurisdiction in the state, Tregoning said. Adding the proposed number of deputies, correctional officers and civilians during the next few years should keep pace with projected population growth into 2005.
"The county continues to enjoy a relatively even crime rate," Tregoning said. "One concern is drug usage, which is increasing, and also cyber crime on the Internet." The department is reviewing a proposal from a company to catch people running red lights.
Tregoning outlined other jobs the department would like to create in the next five years.
The Carroll courthouse planned for 2003 will affect the department, he said, because it will require more staff for security, holding areas and transportation - included among the 31 proposed posts. Tregoning said Carroll's agreement a year ago to house on average 70 people a year for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has made a small profit - one that could be greatly increased if the county were to consider building a regional INS facility.
Tregoning emphasized that his requests and suggestions were in response to the commissioners asking him for a five-year plan to indicate "where we see the sheriff's office down the road."