Ten months into my term as sheriff, I am very happy with progress made in the sheriff’s office, and we continue to move the agency forward toward even greater success.
Over several months, I’ve requested and reviewed multiple assessments of strengths, weaknesses and capabilities within the sheriff’s office. At the end of October, the agency underwent a reorganization of field operations, which handles processing of warrants, domestic violence orders, civil process, and child support enforcement. Primarily, this reorganization concentrates the greatest number of deputies during peak times to maximize our ability to efficiently serve court orders, periodically increase courthouse staffing for critical trials, such as the Capital Gazette shooting case, and to serve a greater number of warrants every month. The reorganization certainly gets the agency, and citizens, more for their tax dollars.
In addition to restructuring, I plan to expand the canine capabilities of the agency to further protect our deputies and citizens. Through social media, many of you have already met our new dog, Bodi, who was recently acquired from the Rockville Police Department. In October, the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club, an organization dedicated to providing canines to wounded veterans and first responders, made a sizable donation to the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County to provide a grant for another canine member of the sheriff’s office. This will allow us to reach our goal to have three canine teams working with deputies in the field, and three canine teams protecting the citizens and employees of the Circuit Court.
During November, the sheriff’s office will have a number of promotions and an annual award ceremony to recognize outstanding achievement by the dedicated men and women of the agency. We can achieve even more if I can successfully obtain new positions in the next budget cycle. Thankfully, the sheriff’s office added two new deputy positions in the recent budget process, but fell short of the number needed. Your sheriff’s office is one of only a few agencies that operates at near full staffing. Expanding our numbers is necessary for growth, citizen engagement, and the overall safety of our communities.
If you have not seen “On the Lookout with Sheriff Jim Fredericks,” the local cable television show highlighting wanted persons throughout the county, check your cable listings to find the Anne Arundel County government channels. The show features dozens of persons wanted for criminal, traffic and child support offenses. Many people have called the tip line to help deputies find subjects seen on the show. If you know the whereabouts of a person with a warrant, you can leave an anonymous tip at 410-566-5688 or 410-LOOKOUT. Please continue to follow us on social media, through our website, and of course, through articles like this one.