Members of the townís Police Commission have
recommended the town halt further annexations until the police department has
time to "catch up" to the growth that has already occurred.
Police Commission member Stacy Brown Hobbs told the
mayor and town commissioners Tuesday night that the department is only at 58
percent capacity with officers, out of 12 total positions.
"Now, that covers all of our shifts, and thatís all it
does," Ms. Hobbs said.
The commission has recommended that the town more
aggressively advertise its openings on the police force and that greater
recruitment and retention efforts should be made to attract new officers, in
addition to its recommendation to halt further annexations "until the police
force is at 100 percent capacity."
Mayor Martin Burns said he understood the commissionís
frustration and that he didnít anticipate the townís hiring freeze to last
beyond this fiscal year.
"I want to stress that we donít necessarily like the
fact the police force is where itís at," Mr. Burns said.
He said that most area police academies wonít hold
graduations until June or July, about the time the hiring freeze should end.
Mr. Burns also said the commissioners would look into
the Police Commissionís recommendations "in the future."
In other business, town commissioner William Blakeslee
announced that a workshop meeting was held Monday night with "a developer
representing a large supermarket chain that is interested in putting a
65,000-square foot supermarket in Thurmont."
Mr. Blakeslee said the store "will be nice," and needs
space for parking for 165 vehicles, about 12 acres and "as close to (U.S.) 15
"We will work with them very aggressively to help like
we would any business thatís going to bring jobs to town," Mr. Blakeslee said.
The commissioners also appointed Sandra Hunter to fill
one remaining vacancy on the townís planning commission.
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