Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Town considers replacing local police
 with county police

Pamela Rigaux
Frederick News Post

(11/14/2004) Thurmont Police Chief Terry Frushour wants the town to look at the pros and cons of replacing his department with county police.

The Resident Deputy Program offered by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office would abolish the current Thurmont Police Department: one lieutenant, two sergeants, three officers and the police chief.

Chief Frushour said that recruiting and retaining staff has been difficult since he joined the department in 1977. "Applicants were going to larger departments."

The town of Thurmont will discuss the matter at the 7 p.m. Tuesday commissioners meeting.

Commissioner Glenn Muth said, "It's difficult to find officers who will work in a small department with the benefits and salaries we have to offer. It's difficult to offer a whole lot more because we're a small town."

Town police are busy, Chief Frushour said. They've answered about 3,900 calls already this year, "anything from a crime to a flat tire."

Mr. Muth said the commissioners asked Chief Frushour to talk to Sheriff Jim Hagy about hiring a couple deputies. But the sheriff instead suggested the Resident Deputy Program.

Mr. Muth said he hasn't seen a contract yet, but it is his understanding that the county would hire the deputies and pay their salaries and benefits. The town would pay the county a fee for the deputies stationed in Thurmont.

"We wouldn't have as much control," he said. "The deputies we'd be assigned would be here semipermanently, until they requested a transfer."

The town would have two officers on duty at all times. Thurmont is eligible for up to 12 deputies. If one gets hurt, a replacement would be sent, Mr. Muth said.

"There's good and bad to this whole thing," he said.

While no current members of the Thurmont Police Department would be guaranteed a job in Thurmont, they're qualified to work for the county, according to Thurmont's Lt. Troy Angell.

"We could request to stay here," Lt. Angell said. "It would be up to the sheriff who to assign where. I would personally request staying in Thurmont."

"I'm looking at the change as an opportunity," Lt. Angell said. He has worked with the police chief for 10 years. "Retirement, salary and benefits have been an issue. This is an opportunity for officers to get better salaries and retirement benefits."

Chief Frushour would also be out of a job, and he is not sure what he would do next.

"I worked my way up through the ranks. I was born and raised in the area," he said. "You get to know everybody -- the commissioners, the officers; it's a small department.

"We'll have to see what the citizens of the town say. That's going to be a big part of the decision."

Chief Frushour said the decision is not one the town will rush into. "It's a big choice to make."

Read other articles on Thurmont