Calvert Commissioners vote to proceed with Sheriff Evans Corrections request

Prince Frederick, MD- At a November 13, 2018 Calvert Commissioners meeting, the former board did not pass a request from Calvert Sheriff Mike Evans(R) to give him oversight of the Detention Center, converting Correction Officers to Correction Deputies, and selection of officers.

The Board voted then, 2-2 with Commissioners Steve Weems(R) and Pat Nutter (R) opposing, while Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt was absent and could not break the tie. The measure requires a Constitutional Amendment.

At the January 8, 2019 meeting of the new Commissioners, County Attorney John Norris re-presented the case for the request. In attendance were Sheriff Evans along with several corrections officers to support the idea of the Detention Center coming under the authority of the Sheriff’s Office. As of right now the Calvert County Department of Human Resources has authority of hiring and disciplinary actions of the corrections officers.

Captain Kevin Cross spoke, the disciplinary process “should always be patterned toward law enforcement when it involves law enforcement.” Cross said officers are currently involved in an appeal board that are on the side of the accuser.

Commissioner Earl “Buddy” Hance(R) asked,” So, going into this new system there will be no citizens participating in those decisions?”. Captain Cross answered, “no”.

“Citizens are concerned about transparency. We hear it all the time, “Officers look out for themselves”,” Hance said. ” The other side of the coin is that citizens want to be part of the process, want to make sure that it is fair and equitable for everybody.”

Sheriff Evans said, ” This is long overdue. The Maryland Police Training Commission and Correctional Training Commission, they established the rules for how you hire and fire, and we just want to be on the same page. It’s time to put it right, and it belongs under the Sheriff.”

The new Commissioners voted in favor of sending Calvert County State Legislators to Annapolis with proposals for both the adoption of a Correctional Officers Bill of RIghts and to reverse the former boards decision on the conversion of correctional officers to correctional deputies.

Contact David Higgins, davidhiggins@southernmarylandchronicle.com

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