Po­lice sub­sta­tion to open in Sudlersville

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTOPHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

SUDLERSVILLE — In about 30 days, the Queen Anne County’s Sher­iff’s Of­fice will open a po­lice sub­sta­tion at the town of Sudlersville’s of­fice at 200 South Church Street, pro­vid­ing what the sher­iff calls con­tin­ued law en­force­ment sup­port for the area.

The town gov­ern­ment and the sher­iffs’s of­fice have signed a one-year au­to­matic re­newal agree­ment for the sub­sta­tion and no fee is charged to the sher­iff’s of­fice, said Jo Man­ning, town man­ager, at the town com­mis­sion­ers’ meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, April 5.

About four months ago, the town com­mis­sion­ers agreed to it. “When set up, it will be a pres­ence in the town,” Man­ning said.

The sub­sta­tion won’t be manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but as Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann said, it “will be used for town re­la­tions. It will be used as a place for [deputy] re­port writ­ing and any needs the com­mu­nity needs.”

For ex­am­ple, he said, a deputy could meet with a ci­ti­zen at the sub­sta­tion about is­sues.

“I think it helps con­tin­ued sup­port for a po­lice pres­ence in the area. I think in the last year, we had a very ded­i­cated pres­ence of law en­force­ment in that area,” he said.

He ex­plained that about a year ago, a deputy was com­mit­ted 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the ar­eas of Sudlersville, Barclay and Tem­pleville. With Route 301 act­ing as a di­vid­ing line, there is another deputy ded­i­cated all the time to the ar­eas of Church Hill and Kingston.

“So we have a min­i­mum of two deputies all the time north of Cen­tre­ville,” Hof­mann said.

That doesn’t in­clude the state po­lice, he said, and po­lice from Ch­ester­town and Kent County can re­spond, if nec­es­sary. The sher­iff’s of­fice “al­ways has two deputies up there, re­ly­ing on other ju­ris­dic­tions to back up us,” he said.

For the sub­sta­tion, po­lice will use the town of­fice’s mid­dle of­fice, which has to be wired for po­lice tech­nol­ogy. Hof­mann said he isn’t sure if sig­nage will be used for the sub­sta­tion.

As for crime in Sudlersville, Hof­mann said the sher­iff’s of­fice has oc­ca­sional drug ac­tiv­ity in the town, which “un­for­tu­nately is a na­tional and coun­ty­wide con­cern.”

The sher­iff of­fice also re­ceives theft com­plaints, but also com­plaints about kids walk­ing around in the park. “The is­sue of peo­ple loi­ter­ing in the park and things like that. That’s re­ally what parks are for, but we do un­der­stand. It’s mis­chievous as well, kids hang­ing around with noth­ing to do,” he said.

Sudlersville crime sta­tis­tics are low, but any crime is a con­cern or is­sue, he said, ad­ding that “Our num­ber one goal is fewer crimes.”

The sher­iff’s of­fice al­ready has a sub­sta­tion in Ch­ester at Kent Nar­rows, which has been op­er­a­tional for more than 15 years, and the sub­sta­tion planned in Sudlersville will be equal to it in the type of op­er­a­tion.

Hof­mann said the Kent Nar­rows sub­sta­tion has been suc­cess­ful. “It’s a place a deputy can go, meet with these peo­ple. The place the [deputies] can go and do re­ports .... Any­time we can get a deputy in the com­mu­nity, it’s a pri­or­ity,” he said.

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER KERSEY

The Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice plans to open a sub­sta­tion at the Sudlersville town of­fice.

SHER­IFF GARY HOF­MANN

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