Carroll legislators delay bond request

They want details on plan to move sheriff's services

February 03, 2004|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County legislative delegation is delaying the county's $19 million bond authorization request for capital improvement projects after an item on relocating some of the sheriff's services caught the eye of state Sen. Larry E. Haines.

The delegation leader is questioning whether the item is related to a Dec. 4 letter written by the county commissioners to the Maryland State Police. The correspondence said that the three officials want to begin discussions to "start transitioning the resident trooper services from the state to the sheriff's office."

Last week, the seven-member Republican delegation decided to wait until after they meet with state police officials before submitting the bond authorization to the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, county chief of staff Steven D. Powell is scheduled to meet today at the Westminster barracks with state police and sheriff's officials, including acting state police Superintendent Thomas E. Hutchins, Westminster barracks commander Capt. Scott Yinger and Carroll Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning.

They are expected to discuss the future of the resident trooper program, which is Carroll's main law enforcement service, and overall policing efforts in the county.

Carroll's resident trooper program began in 1974 and has 51 troopers. Forty-six are assigned to patrol the county, including one who works part time in New Windsor. The other five are in Mount Airy.

The commissioners are questioning whether the state program is the most cost-effective and viable law enforcement agency as the county continues to grow. The commissioners say they are acting on indications by state police that the trooper program would not meet the county's expanding policing needs.

During last week's meeting in Annapolis, members of the delegation said they need more information and need to know the reasons behind the $4.2 million bond authorization request to relocate some of the sheriff's services to the former New Windsor Middle School.

The money would be used to rebuild the infrastructure of the 60,000-square-foot school building, and the Sheriff's Office would occupy a portion of the facility, Powell said.

The sheriff's administrative and patrol functions would relocate from the bottom floor of the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster to the old school building, Tregoning said.

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