Calendar Year 2003 has come to a close and with it marking the conclusion of my first year as Sheriff of St. Marys County. My vision upon taking the oath of office and remains today is to have a professional, well trained, highly respected police agency that is nationally accredited; technologically progressive with state of the art equipment to better serve the Citizens of St. Marys County.
With this vision in mind, the following are a few noteworthy accomplishments: Development of a Fair Promotional System. A task force committee was assembled from a diverse group of employees including both law enforcement and corrections professionals to review and develop a new promotional policy and procedure. In order to compete for promotion to the next rank, the officer must be released from probationary status, submit a resume and is required to participate in a written examination and oral review board process; Patrol Deputy Sheriffs were divided into five (5) Squads. The division of the Squads not only increased the Countys road patrol coverage it allowed for the first time ever a roll call system. The roll call system affords the Patrol Supervisor valuable time to brief the officers on pertinent activities which is even more priceless since the events on September 11th; Implementation of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, a partnership with the Maryland State Police, that fosters information sharing to successfully close criminal investigations; Encouraged the formation of the Correctional Officer Association to work on employee issues; Reviewed the hiring and recruitment process significantly reducing the number of vacancies; 20% - 40% Reduction in Overtime; Began the National Law Enforcement Accreditation Process; Research completed for initial steps to implement a Citizen Advisory Board; and Discussions with the Fraternal Order of Police reference Collective Bargaining.
As you can see from the above the St. Marys County Sheriffs Office which is the primary law enforcement agency in the County has had many accomplishments in 2003. The diverse group of men and women who comprise the St. Marys County Sheriffs Office Team to include Law Enforcement, Correctional Officers, Civilians, and Volunteers, are an extremely hardworking and dedicated group of individuals who will continue to strive to improve to enforce laws, protect life and property, to provide safe, secure, and humane incarceration of inmates and detainees, to act as an agent of the Circuit and District Courts, and to serve the Citizens of St. Marys County in the most timely and cost effective manner.
In looking forward to 2004, the National Law Enforcement Accreditation Process will continue in earnest, Creation of a Five (5) Year Strategic Plan, Development of an employee Discipline Action Matrix, Establishment of a Citizen Advisory Board, Citizen Police Academy, and Cadet Program, and to continue and further develop open lines of communication between the Fraternal Order of Police and Correctional Officer Association.
Anyone who wishes additional information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact the Sheriffs Office at (301) 475-4200 ext. 1900 or the Sheriffs Office website at www.firstsheriff.com.
David D. Zylak
St. Marys County, Maryland