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New Thurmont police station plans
 are moving forward

Ingrid Mezo
The Gazette

Thurmont town officials said Tuesday they are moving forward with plans to build a new police station.

The town is looking into co-owning the building with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"This is a huge win-win because of the amount of money the town can save," said Commissioner Ron Terpko.

Mayor Martin Burns reminded residents that this is not a done deal yet, but said he hopes Frederick County will embrace the town's proposal. Thurmont officials are scheduled to meet with Frederick County commissioners on Aug. 9.

The location for the new Thurmont Police Department building depends on whether the state will allow Thurmont to swap state-protected park property owned by the town in the front, with property in the back on which development is allowed, according to Town Clerk Rick May.

May said a possible location for the department is on East Main Street, near Thurmont Elementary School.

"The next step would be the design," Terpko said.

Thurmont town officials voted in January to keep its police department and look into building a new station for its staff. Officials had considered replacing the Thurmont Police Department with contracted deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

Town officials argued that years of problems fully staffing the department and injuries that sidelined officers made the board consider alternative ways to protect residents.

The town has eight police employees, including one chief, one lieutenant, two sergeants, three officers and one administrative assistant. Two police recruits began an eight-month training program in January. Once they graduate, they can begin working in the Thurmont department.

The department has a budget for 12 staff members.

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