Police in Carroll County who notice consistent problems on their beats will now have a prosecutor assigned to help them as a part of an initiative launched by State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo.
Assistant state's attorney have been assigned to the five municipal police departments, with one attorney Hampstead and Manchester. In addition, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack have been assigned prosecutors, according to DeLeonardo.
The liaison prosecutors are supposed to develop relationships with the members of their assigned agencies and become familiar with quality of life concerns in each community, such as increases in misdemeanor offenses or repeat offenders, the county's chief prosecutor said.
"I think it's really something for the municipalities, if they have an issue," DeLeonardo said.
Sheriff Jim DeWees said having his deputies form a relationship with a prosecutor and have someone they can call after hours will benefit everyone.
"Obviously, it's a good idea," he said. "Like any other profession, you have to build a relationship."
Manchester Police Chief John Hess said Assistant State's Attorney Ken Grote, who is assigned to Manchester and Hampstead, has reached out and let him know officers can contact him with any questions or concerns.
"That's a positive step," Hess said. "Talking to my officers, they've never had that before."
In his conversations with police, DeLeonardo said he repeatedly heard they did not know who in the prosecutor's office to call with questions.
According to DeLeonardo, the new approach will make the state's attorney's office more responsive to the direct and unique public safety needs of each community.
Westminster Police Chief Jeff Spaulding said he plans to work with District Court Chief Attorney Adam Wells to address persistent problems in the city, such as people, or even addresses, police interact with regularly.
Spaulding said occasionally people are arrested multiple times in a short span and keep being released and arrested again. With a liaison from the state's attorney's office, he said officers can be sure that cases are consolidated or treated as a pattern.
DeLeonardo said he hopes eventually to see the cases for repeat offenders from certain communities assigned to the prosecutor already working with law enforcement in those areas.
The State's Attorney's Office also provided contact information to each agency for prosecutors available around the clock to respond to serious crimes, such as homicides, child abuse, sexual assaults and drug overdose deaths.
Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email email@example.com.
Carroll County Breaking News
Law Enforcement Liaisons
Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack: Assistant State's Attorney Andrew Brouwer
Carroll County Sheriff's Office: Senior Assistant State's Attorney Ted Eyler
Westminster Police Department: District Court Chief Attorney Adam Wells
Sykesville Police Department: Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Ingraham
Taneytown Police Department: Assistant State's Attorney Courtney Colonese
Hampstead and Manchester police departments: Assistant State's Attorney Ken Grote