by Lisa Tome
In addition to providing police protection to the entire county, the Cecil Sheriff's Office also has separate deals with four towns and a mobile home community for policing there.
"We have signed one or two year contracts with the Towns. Both parties have the ability to withdraw from the contract with proper notice," said Lt. Holmes.
Contract deputies patrol the streets of Cecilton, Chesapeake City, Charlestown, and Port Deposit. They also patrol the community of Indian Acres, Knights Island Road, Earleville. The towns and Indian Acres are billed $44 per hour plus fuel costs. Of that amount, $40 is paid to the deputy and $4 goes to the sheriff's office for administrative and fuel costs.
Lt. Holmes said that generally, deputies work the town and Indian Acres detail in four hour blocks of time. Each town/community has a liaison which oversees that area. The liaison is a supervisor who manages the schedule and serves as the contact person for the town or community.
He also said that the assignments are made based on what the town or community requests. The requests may include radar detail, foot patrol, presence in certain areas, and others. When it comes to deciding who works the details, any deputy who is in good standing may work the extra shifts. The sign ups for these duties is rotational.
The CCSO has provided police protection, in essence serving as the town's police force, in Chesapeake City and Charlestown, for about two decades.
In Port Deposit, it's been nearly three years. Cecilton inked their deal with the sheriff's office in December.
Cecilton Mayor Joe Zang said so far, so good.
"We are happy. It's been a long time since Cecilton had paid coverage," said Mayor Zang.
The mayor said one thing he is interested in for deputies is having them interact with the citizens and providing outreach. "We are excited about this. It brings comfort to the residents who feel there is a need for it. We are happy with it. Very happy with it and are thinking of increasing their hours. We're excited about it," said Zang.
He also said he admires the work they do. "They're there to protect us. It's a tough job. I don't think people realize how difficult it is," said Zang.
Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome, Sr. said that town has had some issues. The long range plan for Port Deposit is to have its own police department once again.
"The only problem that we have from time to time is lack of consistency. That's if there is a pattern of problems that are not always caught onto," said Mayor Tome. He cited an example of this as a string of past thefts of heat pumps from the Tome's Landing community. He said that Sgt. Jeff MacKenzie has been able to sort out some of the communication issues. "It seems to be better with different supervision," said Tome.
"Eventually when we get more population and Bainbridge is up and running, we will get our own department. Right now, it's working as best as it can," said Tome.
Lt. Holmes said that there are several other paid details for which deputies have the opportunity to serve. Those include school sporting events, the Cecil County Christmas Parade, Fair Hill Races, Cecil County Fair, and others.