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Tregoning is prepared to start new job today as Carroll County sheriff Union Bridge resident talks of 'ambitious plans'


After six days of retirement from the Maryland State Police, Kenneth L. Tregoning will be back at work today as the sheriff of Carroll County.

Tregoning, 54, expected to spend his first day "getting acclimated learning names of deputies and secretaries, and figuring out which key opens which door."

Tregoning, a former state police lieutenant who lives in Union Bridge, handily won a hard-fought Republican primary over two-term incumbent John H. Brown in September. He trounced Democratic candidate Mervin L. Spiwak of Westminster in last month's election.

The transition should be smooth, Tregoning said Friday, noting three meetings he has held with Brown to discuss operations, personnel and administration.

Brown moved out of the sheriff's office Friday.

Tregoning said Mount Airy resident Robert Keefer, a veteran of more than 25 years with the Montgomery County sheriff's office, has been hired as chief deputy, replacing Col. Tom Fowler, Brown's chief deputy.

"I have ambitious plans to accomplish quite a bit in my first [four-year] term as sheriff," Tregoning said. "I wanted someone with experience and the ability to step right in as chief deputy without extensive orientation."

Mason Waters, warden for the Carroll County Detention Center, will remain on the job, Tregoning said. Waters, a veteran of the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, was hired by Brown.

A 100-bed addition under construction at the detention center should be completed in the spring, Tregoning said.

On Dec. 14, Tregoning said, he will be measured for a uniform, a departure from Brown's preferred black business suit.

"Deputy Chief Keefer and I will be wearing a uniform much of the time, but we'll switch to civilian clothing for certain events where uniforms may not be appropriate," Tregoning said.

The new sheriff said he will stress to his 33 deputies that he expects daily cooperation with everyone in the criminal justice system. He said he wants his deputies to "voluntarily back up and assist state and local police when appropriate."

Tregoning said he does not want his deputies to begin writing traffic tickets and investigating crimes and accidents, but "if the need arises, I will support their becoming involved."

Going one step further, he said, "If another agency cannot respond immediately, why punish the citizen? The deputy should take care of the matter."

Tregoning said he has studied the budget of about $5 million for fiscal 1999 and found everything in order. He said he has begun planning a budget for the next fiscal year, which must be submitted to county officials by Dec. 31.

After Jan. 1, Tregoning said, 13 or 14 correctional officer positions will be filled. Seven new positions were budgeted because of the jail expansion, and six or seven positions are vacant.

He said he has committed deputies -- uniformed and undercover on regular and overtime duty -- to assist with holiday patrols in shopping districts and will assign two deputies and a trained dog to the county's drug task force.

Pub Date: 12/07/98

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