LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY
I am writing this letter in regard to the tragic accident which occurred in Dunkirk on July 24, 2009. This unfortunate incident, which was heartfelt throughout our community, took the life of Rachael Campbell and seriously injured Deputy C. Wayne Wells. Sincere condolences from the entire Sheriff's Office goes out to the families touched by this accident and please know that our thoughts are prayers have been with you.
On a personal note, as Sheriff, I would like to apologize to the family for statements made to the press prior to the investigation being fully completed. I, together with the Sheriff's Office staff, have reviewed data and facts and have met with numerous investigators to fully understand this accident and what steps could be taken to lessen the chances of such a tragedy occurring in the future.
The Calvert County Sheriff's Office Priority 1 response policy is governed by Maryland Vehicle Law Section 21-106. It is imperative that deputies arrive on the scene of emergency calls for service as quickly and as safely as possible. The number of calls for service where a Priority 1 response is dictated was recently streamlined and training was conducted on priority responses and pursuits. Our current emergency response policy is consistent with the surrounding jurisdictions; however the Calvert County Sheriff's Office has implemented additional measures regarding the response to priority 1 calls since this accident.
First, we now have an in-service training program governing priority response actions.
Second, our pursuit training is being conducted using practical application and exercises in real time along with classroom instruction. Part of the classroom instruction requires that deputies be familiar with Calvert County roadways and understand response speeds need to be adjusted according to the terrain of the roadway, the lay of the land, the population, congestion, weather, and traffic in the area where they are travelling.
Third, we have already completed refresher behind the wheel training for all deputies on the safe practice of high speed responses. Fourth, we have implemented policy change that requires supervisors to monitor all emergency response calls. Additionally, the supervisor may change the priority response to the call based upon information received from the Calvert Control Center. Finally, I have met with the Campbell family and was granted permission to use this accident case as a learning tool for all deputies in Southern Maryland. The case in its entirety will now be taught and discussed at the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy.
The mission of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office is to provide exceptional law enforcement services to the citizens of Calvert County and to prevent crime and fear of crime through innovative law enforcement efforts. We will continue to accomplish such tasks with the utmost professionalism, integrity, compassion and respect in order to maintain the highest standards of public trust and confidence. I will do everything in my power and wisdom to lessen the chances of our community ever having to endure this type of tragedy again. Once again, my sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Rachael Campbell.
Sheriff Mike Evans
Calvert County, Md.
Teen Motorist Dead after Being Hit by Calvert Deputy's Car, July 27, 2009
Family to Sue Sheriff's Office In Teenager's Fatal Crash, September 13, 2009