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LETTER: Gahler Outlines Traffic Concerns

Jeffrey Gahler has announced his 2014 candidacy for Harford County sheriff.

Jeffrey Gahler, a Republican who in 2010, submitted a letter to local media criticizing the current sheriff's handling of traffic issues in the county.

Gahler contends Bane has not done enough to address the serious traffic problems in the county.

Here is the unedited letter in its entirety:


Recently, I announced my candidacy for the Office of Sheriff in 2014.  Many reasons have led to this decision and over the course of the next two years it will become obvious that the current Sheriff has failed to maintain the level of commitment and integrity to remain in office.  Sheriff Bane has held strong a course of conduct that includes political posturing and self serving law enforcement leadership. I believe our families and communities come first, without exception.

A couple of months ago, I thought it necessary to highlight inaccurate information being conveyed by Sheriff Bane in an apparent effort to scare Harford County citizens into supporting a larger staff and significantly increased budget for his office without demonstrating such need based on measurable data driven demands for law enforcement services.  Police to citizen ratios, even if accurately presented, are not accepted by national police organizations as an effective measure of law enforcement needs and should not have been presented without crime, collision and 911-based data (the whole story) by Sheriff Bane as a justification of need.

Today, I am troubled as I read and listen to Sheriff Bane announce the effort he has finally decided to make concerning the rate at which people are being seriously injured and killed on Harford County roadways.  Troubled:

  • that the current Sheriff failed to take notice and act on this issue during his first term. 
  • that when in 2008 I made the rate of fatal accidents and highway safety a focal point of my 2010 campaign platform, the current Sheriff failed to take any action. 
  • that after numerous community forums and the distribution of nearly 100,000 pieces of campaign materials identifying this issue on my platform for a safer Harford County, the Sheriff failed to act and the deaths and serious injuries on our roadways continued at alarming rates. 
  • that it took this initiative proposed not by the Sheriff, Harford County’s chief law enforcement officer, but rather by the local State Police Commander for the Sheriff to finally take notice.

It is understood that not all harm to our families and friends can be averted, but I would rather stand before you knowing that more were saved by well crafted and relentless efforts than were lost due to inaction or delayed effort or attention.  In a recent news story, Sheriff Bane indicates that the fatality rate is “increasing in dramatic proportions to the point that it's time Harford County looks at this issue as seriously as it looks at crime" (Aegis. June 21, 2012).  The regrettable facts are that this is an issue that always deserved the same serious level of attention from law enforcement and that Sheriff Bane is nearly four years late in this realization and response.  I applaud the local state police commander for his leadership and vision that brought the formation of this Task Force and hope these efforts result in accident reductions and lives saved.

Any loss of life is tragic.  These lost tragically in traffic accidents are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives and sadly, our children. Many of these deaths could have been prevented or avoided.  Law enforcement is duty bound to act quickly, responsibly and relentlessly to protect the community.  An issue recognized is an issue half addressed.  Sheriff Bane had the issue of serious injury and fatal collisions occurring in Harford County clearly pointed out to him and yet he failed to act timely or aggressively in our best interest. 


Jeffrey R. Gahler

2014 Republican Candidate for Sheriff

Philip Einhorn June 29, 2012 at 07:45 PM
How easy it is to criticize someone when not in office. The fact is that Harford County is safer for its citizens than ever. Sheriff Bane has done a super job during his time in office and will continue to do so. Too bad we can't get thru one election before Jeff campaigns for one still two years away. Part of the problem causing accidents is people texting and using cell phones while driving. Another problem is people falling asleep while driving their vehicles. This responsibility resides with the individual people. The police departments can stop violators when they see them but they can't drive peoples vehicles. Our deputies are better staffed, better trained, have better equipment and we have a better Sheriffs office in Edgewood and a larger jail under Sheriff Bane's watch. In two years we can thank him with reelection.
Dan Thompson June 29, 2012 at 09:12 PM
How easy is it to be in office and have someone else tell you this is an area of major concern and in need of attention. Mr. Gahler did everything but hold Sheriff Bane's hand and tell him what to do by laying out his traffic safety concerns and plans years ago (also while Mr. Gahler was in office). Sheriff Bane still needed several years to think about it and then needed another state trooper to lead the way. Be real Phil, Bane did not want to upset the deputies by saying they needed to take a greater role in traffic enforcement and make sure his prior campaign took importance over reducing fatal accidents. Mr. Gahler stated facts as far back as 2009 or so and has not changed his tune. Sheriff Bane is a weak politician and even he knows it is time to go.
Philip Einhorn June 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Spoken like an ex deputy that got passed over. Is this the case??? Sheriff Bane is a strong leader and that is why he was reelected with the help of many Harford County Republicans such as myself who knows that the person is more important than the party they belong to particularly the Sheriff who has no vote among the country council members. He is only charged with enforcing the laws which he does quite well.
Dan Thompson June 29, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Do you mean passed over when Jesse changes the promotional rules to suit the needs of his supporters while passing over over those deemed most qualified by an independent promotional assessment process that was paid for and funded by our tax dollars? Do you mean enforcing the laws that he chooses are worthy of his time like not assisting with people's property being held unlawfully by tow companies (yes I know he won the case, but the decision was yes it is against the law, but he can choose not to take reports). A case that tied up the court system and cost more taxpayer money? Maybe you mean not enforcing the traffic laws before now, allowing fatal accidents to continue to grow in number? Then again, maybe you mean having a criminal on his command staff (and donating to his campaign) and ensuring that news didn't get out until the day after the election?
Philip Einhorn June 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM
The officer you are referring to was being tried by the Baltimore City Court System. The case was not closed until after the election. The man could not be fired until the case was heard and he was found guilty. If fired before the hearing and found not guilty he could sue the county. I thought you were aware of this. I was a professional business man with 150 employees. If one of my employees was not supporting me I would not promote him. I would surround myself with those I trusted and had confidence in. I don't know how that works in the Sheriffs Office but it seems reasonable to me.When in management you need people near you that support your objectives. When this is not done you create potential problems that are not necessary.
Sheila Dennis June 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Thank you for the truth Mr. Gahler. We are behind you all the way!
Dan Thompson June 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Check your timeline Phil or call Jesse and ask him. The indictment came the day after the election (does anyone really believe this timing was not intentional?). Jesse fired him only after he was charged with another more minor crime and before either case went to court. A dramatic change from what he said he could not do prior to election day. Check the old Patch articles or other online stories and you will find Mr. Gahler repeatedly said Forwood could be fired and yes, Mr. Gahler was right (another Jesse educational moment). As far as your promotional system beliefs, I hope Mr. Gahler believes in a fair and impartial system. The good ole boys system gets you nothing but a bunch of yes men (or women) and that is what Jesse has. A staff that is too afraid to tell the emperor that he has no clothes.
Philip Einhorn June 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I do not believe for one minute that if someone tried to keep him from office that he would promote that person to higher responsibility. If that is the case he would be a very weak and inefficient Sheriff. You can not have people work behind your back and accomplish your goals. This is one of the first lessons learned in career management. A leader is only as good as those that support him. That is one of the reasons Jesse Bane is a good leader. He has an excellent staff. Judging by your texts he chose wisely.
Dan Thompson June 30, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Are you saying that promoting Mark Forwood to his top command staff, a campaign donor and felon, is your example of Jesse's ability to pick good command staff members? Mark Forwood, Jesse's right hand. The person that lead to search warrants being executed at the Sheriff's Offices by another police department. This time you are right. Jesse found someone as good as him - a person of undeniable unethical and poor character. Sorry Phil, like Jesse, you are digging the hole deeper.
Ed Jr. June 30, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Philip Are you the guy that dresses up like Uncle Sam to campaign for Jesse Bane?
Philip Einhorn July 01, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Watch what you ;call people, it could lead to a lawsuit. Calling someone a felon who obviously is not could give ;you more trouble than you want. Sorry you are so bitter because of your pass over for promotion. Get over it. By the way I am the guy that wore the Uncle Sam suit during the last election. As far as the Baltimore County investigation it was wise to take it out of the county's hands and as you know there was no evidence of wrong doing by the Sheriffs office. Jesse is doing a great job and won the last election by 2500 votes. This next election he will win by more than 3,000. The people in Harford County know that he is continuing to do a great job. He has many Republican supporters beside myself.
Ed Jr. July 01, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Philip (Uncle Sam), So you are the guy that dresses up as Uncle Sam on election day to campaign for Jesse Bane and you constantly campaign for Jesse Bane. Readers need to know that you are clearly incapable of having any retionale discussion concerning the Sheriff's Office.
L Stone July 01, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I know Jesse and he is a man of high integrity. Did you know that he authored Harford County's 911 plan?
Dan Thompson July 01, 2012 at 08:28 PM
@L Stone, No and if he claims it, I must doubt the truth of the claim. I am sure there will be some research done to ascertain if indeed your statement and belief are factual. Until that is done, Jesse's integrity has been put to the test all over this site and another Harford County online news source and he has failed completely. A man who would (and has) sell his integrity in order to win office is beyond despicable and in no way deserves the public's trust. Jesse knows this is a factual statement and that is why there is no effort from the HCSO to disclaim it, they cannot.
Philip Einhorn July 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Ed you are constantly campaigning against Jesse. Does that make you any more rational than me? I think not! I am only answering the lies that you post so that readers will know the truth.
Ed Jr. July 03, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Philip Einhorn (Uncle Sam), Please provide specific examples. I'm simply pointing out that anyone that dresses up as Uncle Sam to promote Jesse Bane has skin in the game. Jesse Bane's record regarding Mark Forwood, his hiring, lack of discipline, lack of investigating, etc.. etc.. speaks for itself. Jesse Bane's lack of action for the last 4 years regarding traffic improvements and enforcement speaks for itself. Facts are the facts Phil, not lies just because you think Jesse is a good ole boy...
Philip Einhorn July 03, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Bigger jail, more officers, less crime, new office in Edgewood, better equipment for the deputies, better attitude of employees-JUST THE FACTS ED!!
cml July 03, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Off topic, but yeah....Bane has done a great job. 3 murders within a 1 mile radius of my house recently. Oh yeah, this is Bel Air. Remember when a murder in Harford County was rare? Me too.
Ed Jr. July 03, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Philip Einhorn (Uncle Sam), I agree with you that Jesse Bane has exploded the Sheriff's budget. Unfortunately, Jesse Bane's budget explosion has not translated to less serious crimes and less traffic incidents..... The deputies I've talked to are unhappy with Bane's Lack of Leadership. Facts are the facts Phil... Good grief, Bane can't even find a leader for the new jail.
Fed up July 03, 2012 at 05:48 AM
You mean the bigger jail that isnt staffed enough to open it? The jail that before anyone realized they forgot to add in HVAC and everything was sealed up. Had to spend more tax payer money to make it right. God forbid anyone hold the contractor responsible. The CO are busting their ass to cover all shifts and still treated poorly. Threatened and harrassed. They dont want to work for him any longer. I could understand a few deputies and CO's not wanting to work for someone. After all not everyone likes the boss. But for the majority of the officers to NOT want to work for him speaks volumes. I dont give a crap what political party someone is, I just want someone that can do the damn job!!!!
Philip Einhorn July 03, 2012 at 06:05 AM
So a crime is committed and it is the Sheriffs fault?? Get real.
Ed Jr. July 03, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Philip Einhorn (Uncle Sam), Will you be dressing up as Uncle Sam tomorrow?
cml July 03, 2012 at 05:34 PM
It's about not addressing the crime. Take your head out of Bane's nether regions for a bit, and you may see it.
Philip Einhorn July 03, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Hi Ed, I will not be Uncle Sam tomorrow.
1ke July 03, 2012 at 08:14 PM
You see what happens when law enforcement is a political plum? Ooops, I'll run into trouble on the bypass talking like that!
Ahmad0001 December 18, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Sheriff Bane still needed several years to think about it and then needed another state trooper to lead the way. http://www.onlinedatastoragesite.com/softwares/the-3-stage-converter-may-be-the-perfect-answer-for-solitary-phase-problems.html
Philip Einhorn December 18, 2012 at 06:56 PM
As you drive on the roads in Harford County watch how many people are texting while driving, talking on a hand held cell phone, cutting in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed and reading a book while driving. Our roads are not wide enough to handle the volume of traffic especially on routes 24, Mountain road and Churchville road during rush hours. Without adequate staff there are not enough deputies and state police officers to handle the volume of traffic. There is a hiring freeze on county employees. The Sheriff can only use the assets that he has. Another problem we have is the number of accidents that are caused by our youth who drive at high rates of speed especially at night and early ;morning. We have lost too many young people who have been killed by high speed accidents and drug use.. This has to be addressed by the schools when these children are starting to learn to drive. I believe that a program is in effect at the schools. Perhaps that program needs to be enhanced. The parents of our young people who are driving could help by teaching their children good driving habits and leading by example when their children are in their car. At any rate our Sheriff and his deputies are doing a great job with the assets that they have to work with.


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