The 2004 year has come and gone, rather swiftly I might add. It was a very eventful and productive year for the Calvert County Sheriffs Office. This Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Mike Evans has accomplished much in support of our mission during 2004. The list is extensive and impressive, and is an excellent barometer of our continued effort at supplying the best police product to the citizens of Calvert County.
A premier achievement in 2004 was the creation of a multi-agency combined criminal investigative unit to handle all serious and major crimes in Calvert County. The task force, known as the Calvert Investigative Team, has incorporated members of the Maryland State Police, the Calvert County Sheriffs Office and the States Attorneys Office for Calvert County as a single unit. The team is housed as one at the Calvert County Sheriffs Office and has resulted in a coordinated effective crime-fighting group. Each agency has put forth a tremendous effort in support of this action and the results have greatly benefited the citizens of Calvert County.
This Office was also able to obtain a $500,000.00 Federal C.O.P.S. Technology Grant to place integrated computers and in-car camera systems in our patrol vehicles. This project will enhance the safety of our officers and greatly increase their effectiveness while on patrol. It will allow real time transfer of data to the patrol officer further increasing their effectiveness in a myriad of ways.
The Sheriff also continued to stress the role of our officers in reducing traffic accidents and fatalities by more effectively performing traffic patrols and speed enforcement. These efforts have resulted in a significant increase in traffic stops and a slight decrease in traffic fatalities. Our efforts in this area will be even stronger in 2005. Incorporated in this effort was our initiative in specialized traffic accident investigations. During the year we trained nine officers in advanced accident reconstruction measures to better investigate, prosecute and develop proactive methods to reduce traffic crashes and their severity. Sergeant Todd Ireland is to be commended for his efforts in all facets of traffic enforcement. Sergeant Ireland is the Sheriffs Office supervisor of our special traffic enforcement endeavors and as such has played an active role in managing all traffic grants. These included enforcement initiatives such as the Smooth Operator Campaign, the school traffic initiative known as Operation Seahorse, school bus enforcement initiative, D.U.I. saturation patrols, young driver enforcement, Route 4 commuter enforcement, sobriety checkpoint initiatives and the Chiefs Challenge Campaign for safety belt usage.
We have continued our intense efforts in the Homeland Security arena. Our supervisor of the Local Office of Homeland Security, Sergeant Ricky Thomas, and the entire Special Operations Team became certified in Hazmat Operations and became only the second team in the country to be trained by the elite Navy Seals in Special Waterborne Operations. Our Office, and in particular our Homeland Security Officer, was the lead agency in developing a capabilities ready list for all special operations teams throughout the State. We continue to maintain vigilance in the area of Homeland Security and monitor activities throughout the county and region. We also maintain our close working relationship with Constellation Energy and Dominion Cove Point LNG.
Another project Sheriff Evans spearheaded in 2004, along with the Calvert County Office on Aging, was Project Lifesaver International. This is now a viable project operating in Calvert County, which is designed to locate, and track individuals suffering from medical problems such as dementia and Alzheimers disease. Two members of the office, Sergeant Dave Allen and Deputy First Class Chip Allen, have been trained and operate this program.
We had two members of the office awarded special statewide recognition for their law enforcements efforts. One, for his outstanding performance in the area of Homeland Security interests was Sergeant Ricky Thomas, and another Sergeant Dave McDowell for his outstanding contributions in community policing and the intelligence field.
The Sheriff has continued the efforts of our office to become active participants in the schools in our communities. During 2004, Deputy First Class Glenn Libby was assigned to the schools as an assistant to the current school law enforcement liaison officer. We like to refer to Glenn as a First Class Deputy who has had an immediate positive effect within the schools.
There have been many other accomplishments during the 2004 year too numerous to list. Sheriff Evans continues his commitment to the community to put forth the most professional, well-trained law enforcement personnel possible. In that endeavor the deputies of the Calvert County Sheriffs Office have received over 4800 hours of specialized law enforcement training in 2004. This training included having one of our deputies, Corporal Michael Bomgardner, becoming a certified Statewide Program Instructor for D.A.R.E.
The Sheriffs energy has not waned a bit and he continues to instill confidence and leadership throughout the office.
Major Thomas C. Hejl