We want your opinions

December 24, 2006

ISSUE:

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, who has moved to cut spending in his first weeks in office, plans to continue using a police security detail that costs at least $125,000 a year.

During the fall campaign, Leopold took a skeptical stance on the use by his predecessor, Janet S. Owens, of police officers to drive her and provide protection. Since then, he said, the outgoing police chief, P. Thomas Shanahan, and the incoming chief, James Teare Sr., persuaded him to continue using the security detail.

Some question whether a county executive needs more security than U.S. senators and representatives, especially when the Police Department's ranks are down. But others say that a security detail frees up executives to work while traveling, protects them from angry constituents and disgruntled employees, and enables them to respond quickly to emergencies.

YOUR VIEW:

Does the county executive need police protection? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published next Sunday.

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