Resident deputy is on patrol in town

Sheriff employee replaces shared state trooper

Savings of about $12,000 a year

Union Bridge

July 05, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Sheriff's Deputy Robert Clint Cromwell began patrolling this week in Union Bridge in a car stenciled with his new title of "resident deputy" - the first ever in Carroll County.

After the town shared a state police resident trooper with nearby New Windsor for more than a decade, Union Bridge officials decided recently to turn to the county Sheriff's Office to patrol the town.

"We'll get just as good coverage, and it's going to save us some money," said Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr.

The deputy will cost the town of almost 1,000 residents less than $28,000 a year, compared with about $40,000 for the resident trooper as its share of the cost with New Windsor, Jones said.

The mayor pitched the idea more than a year ago and won approval from the Town Council in April.

"Somebody has to take the bull by the horns and give it a try," said Jones.

Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning was in Union Bridge on Monday, when Cromwell began his patrols.

"Union Bridge, by voting to go with a resident deputy, demonstrated confidence in our ability to deliver quality law enforcement service," Tregoning said.

The deputy's schedule will be set by the town, but the plan is to have him work from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on some days and from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on others.

Calls for the resident deputy will be routed to the sheriff, unless someone specifically asks for a state trooper. State police, which provide the county's primary law enforcement coverage, will continue to patrol the Union Bridge area at other hours.

Cromwell, 28, said he joined the Marines after graduating in 1992 from Francis Scott Key High School and then took some college courses.

"I always wanted to be a police officer," he said. "My father was a state trooper."

At 21, Cromwell became a police officer in Taneytown. He joined the Sheriff's Office in March 1998.

He said he planned to introduce himself around town as he started his patrols.

In Union Bridge, he will find a town where, according to the mayor, "the biggest problem is junk vehicles and abandoned cars."

Beyond checking on the well-being of properties and watching for vandals, the deputy could be asked to help with any traffic snarls caused by downtown revitalization plans, he and Tregoning said.

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