PRINCE FREDERICK, MD -- On September 25, 2006, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #109, located in Prince Frederick, held a candidates forum for the upcoming General Election. The lodge is comprised of ninety active Calvert County Deputy Sheriffs and ten retired Deputies. Both Sheriffs candidates, Joseph C. "Joey" McKenny and Mike Evans, as well as both States Attorney candidates, Gregory Wells and Laura Martin, took part in the event.
The forum included a five minute opening statement from each candidate, a question and answer session during which the candidates had two minutes to respond to the question asked, and a three minute closing statement from each candidate. The States Attorney candidates were asked five questions, with both candidates being asked the same five questions. The Sheriffs candidates were asked ten questions, with both candidates being asked the same ten questions. The questions were chosen from a pool of questions submitted by Calvert deputies.
At the conclusion of this forum, the members of Lodge #109 voted via secret ballot for who they wanted to endorse in the upcoming General
Election on November 7. The result of the vote was to endorse Joseph C. "Joey" McKenny for Sheriff and Gregory Wells for States Attorney. Lodge Vice President Chris Parsons
stated that the F.O.P. voted prior to the forum not to release the specific vote tallies. However, Mr. Parsons did note that, "Gregory Wells received a good majority of the vote and Joseph C. 'Joey' McKenny received a very good majority of the vote."
The questions asked of the candidates for Sheriff follow:
1. The deputies in the Patrol division recently voted by a slim margin to implement a 12-hour shift schedule. Do you support a 12-hour shift schedule? If elected, would you give strong consideration to any shift schedule that the F.O.P. approached you about?
2. Do you have any plans to change the Patrol division in an effort to increase officer safety, improve response time to calls, increase the man power of road patrol, and improve upon the morale of those deputies assigned to road patrol?
3. Our current evaluation process includes a, "Round Robin", during which supervisors that do not work with an employee are able to increase or lower that employees score. Do you feel that this is fair? What, if any, changes would you make to the current promotional process?
4. In the current evaluation process, those deputies assigned to specialty divisions are frequently given higher evaluation scores that those deputies in the Patrol division. Will you look into this matter and make changes if you find that deputies in the Patrol division are at a disadvantage when it comes time for evaluations.
5. The current Sheriff's Office retirement plan is not up to par with surrounding jurisdictions. Would you support enhancing the Sheriff's Office retirement plan to make it comparable to surrounding jurisdictions? Would you support and assist the F.O.P. in obtaining collective bargaining for deputies?
6. During this election year, the distribution of manpower within the Sheriff's Office has been called into question by Sheriff's candidates. Do you feel that manpower is currently distributed in the most effective way it could be? Please explain your answer and discuss any changes that you might make.
7. Do you think that seniority should be taken into account during the promotional process and when selecting an employee for temporary supervisory assignments?
8. How do you intend to ensure that employee's are treated fairly and equally when it comes to Internal Affairs investigations and any punishment that may result?
9. Creating a, "Master Patrolman", rank for Dfc's with a certain amount of time on the job would allow for more upward mobility while not taking manpower from the Road Patrol division. A "Master Patrolman" could act as a supervisor in the absence of a Corporal or Sergeant and would be another supervisor on road patrol to assist less experienced deputies. Would you support the creation of such a position?
10. This question was not released by the FOP.
The questions asked of the candidates for State's Attorney follow:
1. What have you done outside of your employment with Calvert County to become involved in the community?
2. What is, or what will be your policy concerning Domestic violence cases?
3. We often see the same people committing crime over and over again, yet they are often given a slap on the wrist. What will you do to ensure that those persons convicted of crimes are given appropriate punishments?
4. How do you feel about subjects who assault police? How aggressively will you prosecute assaults against police? How aggressively would you prosecute assaults against police K-9 dogs?
5. What, if any, personnel changes to you plan on implementing within the State's Attorneys office if you are elected?