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County approves new deputy for Emmitsburg

(7/20) The Frederick County Board of Commissioners approved by a 4-1 vote on July 11 Emmitsburg's request for a third deputy to help patrol the town. Commissioner John L. Thompson Jr. voted against the motion.

Commissioner Jan. H. Gardner told The Dispatch that the commissioners had a lengthy discussion, while reviewing the new deputy question, about how to obtain an additional patrol car to replace the one that would be sent to Emmitsburg.

"The big debate we had on that related to the car," Gardner said. "Right now, we don't have a car available."

The commissioner said the new deputy will arrive in Emmitsburg with a car, but there's a lot of debate about how they will come up with another vehicle for that officer's replacement in the sheriff's office.

Gardner said the board asked county staff to come back to them with a recommendation about how to secure a car. The sheriff's office, she stated, said it was reasonable for the county to finance the new vehicle because of the benefit to the county.

Aside from replacing the vehicle going to Emmitsburg, she said the decision to provide the town with a third deputy "was an easy thing to support because the town is covering the cost. We're happy to do that (approve the officer)."

Regarding when the new officer would report for duty in Emmitsburg, Gardener said, "I was under the impression it would be relatively soon, almost immediately."

The commissioner said she had wished the request had come in before the now 11-day-old county budget had been finalized. "Our budget went into effect in July. We wish we had known so we could have dealt with the car issue before the budget" was finalized.

"We'll work it out. Four of us were not willing to hold up the deputy for the town because we had not resolved the car," she said.

Mayor James E. Hoover had previously indicated interest in the town hiring a third deputy from the county sheriff's office, costing the town a total of about $95,000.

Although the town commissioners questioned at their June 12 budget meeting whether crime in town had increased sufficiently to justify the hire, they approved the fiscal year 2006-2007 budget with the requested amount, thereby authorizing the hiring on June 19.

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