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2nd Carroll police hearing set

The Baltimore Sun

An additional public hearing has been scheduled to discuss the creation of a Carroll County police force, county officials said yesterday.

The move was made in response to comments from residents at a Saturday hearing held by the Carroll legislative delegation.

Yesterday, the delegation decided to draft legislation that would call for the voters to ratify any county police-force ordinance passed by the Board of Commissioners before it goes into effect, said state Sen. Allan Kittleman.

The Board of Commissioners sent a letter to state Sen. Larry Haines this week, acknowledging the delegation's concerns about having the police hearing during the daytime and requesting that a referendum proposal be deferred until after the public hearings are held.

The second hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Oklahoma Road Middle School in Eldersburg. The first hearing is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 31 in the county office building.

The commissioners are considering the adoption of a proposed section to the county code about the police department. It describes how the board appoints the chief of police and the chief's duties, among other details.

The issue was discussed at some length during the legislative delegation's public hearing last weekend. Residents said they did not want to rush the creation of a police force, and that they wanted a referendum on the matter.

The commissioners voted in October to create a countywide police department, moving away from the current resident trooper program with the Maryland State Police. The program has become increasingly costly, the commissioners have said.

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