Sheriff absolutely opposes removal of deputies from schools
CENTREVILLE — “I do not want to remove this resource from our schools,” Queen Anne’s County sheriff Gary Hofmann said in an interview about pending legislation at the state level to redirect funds for school resource officers. This position being taken by certain legislators is not something that all legislators are pushing for, said Hoffman.
Senate Bill 0245, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Ellis (D-charles), establishes numerous restrictions on school resource officers in what he told the Capital News Service is a plan to ensure students, especially those of color, feel more comfortable at school.
The Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 required schools to prove they either have a designated school resource officer or “adequate local law enforcement coverage.”
This year’s bill establishes guidelines prohibiting school resource officers from entering schools “except under certain circumstances.”
“We are grateful to have the support of our SROS in QACPS. They are visible and have built relationships with students, staff, and families. They support our schools and are members of our community,” Dr. Andrea Kane, Superintendent of Queen Anne’s County Public Schools said.
Ellis said the allowed circumstances of entering the school would primarily entail emergencies or routine uses such as the restroom, under the proposed law.
The bill also requires that school officers wear street clothes rather than a police uniform, while concealing their firearm unless needed.
“The goal should be safety and security for all those in our schools,” Hoffman said. He believes in creating a safe environment for all including, staff, students and parents who enter the buildings, “This protection is not just for the bricks and blocks of the building... we are partners and friends.”
Hofmann mentioned the reinstitution of the DARE program started again last year within the QACPS system. Resource officers are a very important part of our school system, he said. At the end of the day, Hoffman said, it should be left up to each jurisdiction to decide how to implement and work with school resource officers. In Queen Anne’s county the positions are not funded through the Board of Education, but directly through Hoffman’s department, he noted.
“I can’t imagine what it is like to be a student and constantly having to worry about who might walk through those school doors,” he said he is concerned that by not having a resource officer in the school it could create an opportunity for harm to be done and cause damage to the relationships formed between the student body and his deputies. Those relationships have served to prevent some incidents and keep others from recurring.
County commissioner Chris Corchiarino agreed. “I oppose this legislation,” he said, “SROS contribute to the safety of students and they see the police are there to help and protect them.” Corchiarino noted in Queen Anne’s County there have developed many good relationships between law enforcement and the community. Each county should be able to regulate their own, he said.
State’s Attorney Lance Richardson also weighed in, “I think it’s a terrible idea to do away with School Resource Officers. School shootings are unfortunately going to keep occurring. SROS are a great deterrent to violence, drug dealing and a host of other crimes that unfortunately poison our schools and students.” Richardson added he believes Queen Anne’s County should decide whether they want SROS and the state should allow them to make this decision based on resident’s preferences.
The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee held a hearing on the bill Wednesday, where a number of organizations testified for and against the bill.
CHESTERTOWN — Henry Raymond Pupke died on February 8, 2021 of Parkinson’s Disease. He passed away at home, surrounded by family.
Born October 30, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY to Henry F. and Florence Holder Pupke, he spent most of his youth growing up in Valley Stream, NY. A Brooklyn Dodgers fan, he enjoyed attending games at Ebbets Field with his grandfather.
Henry graduated from Lehigh University in 1960. Later in life, he endowed a scholarship at Lehigh in grateful appreciation for the education he received.
After graduating Lehigh, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI in June of 1962. He was assigned to the USS Henley (DD 762). During his time on the Henley, he participated in the naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was honorably discharged as Lieutenant JG in 1965.
Henry Pupke, CFP, was employed as a financial advisor by Merrill Lynch in New York City from 1965 to 2018. He rose to Senior Vice President, earning recognition for his 53 years’ worth of contributions to the company and a commitment to excellence in client services.
Merrill also recognized his commitment to philanthropy and community service with its Lifetime Community Service Award in 2002.
Serving his community was important to Henry. He was Senior Warden of Church of the Ascension in Rockville Centre, NY for many years. In 2002, the Rector of Ascension recognized him for his counsel as a member of the vestry, his work to manage the finances of the church, his ministry as a Lay Reader, and his ability to enhance the liturgy by not singing in the choir. For his years of service to the Diocese of Long Island, he was awarded the Bishop’s Medal for Parochial Service.
On Long Island, Henry was a member of the Board of Directors of South Nassau Community Hospital and Winthrop University Hospital, serving as Vice Chairman of the combined Boards.
In 1961 Henry married Elizabeth (Betty) Bryan Baker, of Centreville, MD.
Betty and Henry raised their three children primarily on Long Island, in Baldwin and Garden City, with much time spent with family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Henry enjoyed golf, gardening, travel and fund-raising for causes he believed in: Lehigh University, Drew University, St. Andrews School DE, Church of the Ascension, Camp Wright, and St. Paul’s Church in Centreville MD.
He is survived by his wife Betty of 59 years of Chestertown, MD; his son Karl and wife Kimberly and their children Ian and Katherine of Garden City, NY; his daughter Karen and her daughter Elizabeth of New York, NY; his son Christopher and wife Andi and their children Kade and Dan of Centreville MD; his sisterin-law Susie Orme and five nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister-inlaw Sally Shepard.
Due to COVID, the funeral will be private. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made in Henry’s memory to the Pupke Family Scholarship at Lehigh University or to the charity of your choice. Pupke Family Scholarship Office of Development and Alumni Af fairs
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