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LETTER: Gahler Contends Bane Late On Addressing Traffic

Harford County sheriff candidate Jeff Gahler submits a letter to the editor.

Republican candidate for sheriff, , contends in a letter to local media that current sheriff has not given proper credit to Maryland State Police for the .

In June, Gahler in the county. The June letter criticized the Bane's handling of these traffic issues. Gahler submitted a second letter on the subject, questioning the timeline of the creation of the recently instituted

See the full letter below.

Gahler announced in June he will run for Harford County Sheriff in 2014.

Gahler, a recently retired Maryland State Trooper, ran for sheriff in 2010 but .

In March, criticizing Bane's assessment of the police force in the county. Bane and , clarifying the data while inviting Gahler to meet.

Gahler .

Here is Gahler's unedited letter in its entirety:

On Thursday, July 26th, I had the distinct privilege of attending the Harford County Chamber of Commerce’s July Luncheon and an opportunity to listen to Sheriff Bane detail his term as Sheriff.    Several details of his presentation were in direct opposition to my first-hand knowledge of past law enforcement efforts and accomplishments, and for the most part, can be summed up to the Sheriff failing to recognize those who initiated most of the efforts and initiatives he now claims as successes.  I would like to take this opportunity to clarify some information presented.

Just a few short weeks prior to the Chamber’s July Luncheon, in a public letter; I outlined the Sheriff’s slow reaction to address the rate of fatal and serious injury accidents occurring in our county.   I outlined how the incidence of devastating motor vehicle accidents was not a new phenomenon and had been an important part of my past campaign platform for Sheriff.  In fact, this topic had been a key point as far back as 2008 and it was noted that the Sheriff failed to act until approached by the local State Police Commander who had proposed a traffic task force to address this growing, but consistent, threat to our community.  During his Chamber of Commerce presentation (and likely repeated at this weekend’s Darlington Town Hall meeting), in front of a room full of community and business leaders, Sheriff Bane informed the gathering that the traffic task force grew from a local police chief’s meeting “in April of last year.”   I am curious if this aspect of his presentation was meant to address my previous condemnation of his failure to act in a timely manner with those in attendance, but using false information to cover inaction is never advisable. 

For reference, I have attached a Harford County Sheriff’s Office Memorandum that clearly shows the “Multi Jurisdictional Traffic Task Force” was proposed by the state police commander and shows that the proposal dates back to September of 2010.  I assume Sheriff Bane does not want to admit the issue and need for action stems back to the last election (fall, 2010) because then he would also have to admit that it was not his own loudly touted processes that brought this issue to the forefront.  Instead, it was his more experienced opponent followed by the local state police commander that recognized the need.  Sadly, even if this April of 2011 claim was true, the question would still remain as to what has taken the Sheriff so long to address this real public safety issue?   Detailed crash data has been available to the Sheriff from the Maryland State Highway Administration for his entire term in office.  Why now is he presenting information that contradicts fact to describe his efforts?

As stated in my previous letter, the regrettable facts are that this is a very real issue that has always deserved a serious level of attention from our law enforcement leaders.  Sheriff Bane was still nearly four years late in this realization and response.   Clearly the recognition of this issue and the origin of the response was not as he claims or when he claims.  I assume his motives for such a deceptive timeline and action are purely political in nature, but there is no place in law enforcement for variations of the truth, not now, not ever. 

 

Sincerely,

Jeffrey R. Gahler

2014 Republican Candidate for Sheriff      

Leslie Schildgen August 27, 2012 at 08:27 PM
How about a Breaking and Entering Task Force. There have been 5 houses robbed in the last two weeks within one mile of each other in Harford County. I called the Sheriff's Office about a possible tip and they couldn't care less.
Donnie Brooke August 28, 2012 at 02:49 AM
That can’t be true Leslie. In a Baltimore Sun Article dated June 24, 2007, addressing a “spike in 3 (crime) categories,” Sheriff Bane stated in an interview that Harford County deputies will be focusing on being more active in preventing crimes rather than reacting to them.” That must be what happened in your case. In that same article, Sheriff Bane said that he would use a ‘different approach to policing, including the implementation of Compstat to analyzes data to focus resources on trouble areas.’ Bane went on to say “The traditional way of policing was more reactive and relied on deputies riding in patrol cars, responding to calls for service, filing a report and sending it to the detective.” "We can't continue to police Harford County, with the way it is growing, like we did in 1972," Sounds like the Sheriff has continued to do just that. Where are those maps? Why aren’t they getting out ahead of some of this stuff? Why does the Sheriff realize an issue is a problem only after he reads about it in the news?
Phil Pace August 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM
I wonder why there is not a bigger state police presence in Harford County? I would have thought with the expansion of Maryland 24 way back and all the increase in population and crime, the MD state police would have expanded from Benson to another area of the county.
Leslie Schildgen August 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Oh, okay, Donnie. . . I'm lying just because I have nothing better to do. It IS true that the Harford County Sheriff's Office had no interest in my tip to the Cullem Drive crime spree.
Dan Thompson August 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM
It looks like Phil was agreeing with you with a bit of sarcasm concerning more of our Sheriff's unmerited self promoting and claims. If the person who failed to act on you call is a Bane voter, they can do as they wish. Am I missing something? Where is the memo that is referenced above?
Leslie Schildgen August 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Dan, I'm confused too. I think you meant to say Donnie was agreeing with me. I read his remarks again and I'm still confused whether his statement is agreeing or he's calling me a liar
Dan Thompson August 28, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Yes, you are correct that I meant to say Donnie. He is certainly being sarcastic towards Sheriff's Bane's claims.
Leslie Schildgen August 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM
My bad, Donnie
Philip Einhorn September 17, 2012 at 09:16 PM
How easy it is to criticize someone when you don't have to make their decisions. Two years ago the voters of Harford County made a decision of who they wanted to be their Sheriff. The choice was a previous State Police Officer with no known management experience or reelecting a Sheriff with many years of experience as a chief deputy and four years of experience as an on the job Sheriff. There is a great deal of difference between being a State Police Officer who follows the orders of others and a Sheriff who is responsible for making important decisions on a daily basis. Sheriff Bane has done an outstanding job since his first and second election and will continue to do so. We can be proud of the work that our deputies are doing and of the command staff that trains, motivates and leads them in their work.
Philip Einhorn September 17, 2012 at 09:22 PM
These last two weeks have been difficult for the members of our Sheriff's Department. The tragic loss of lives has affected them greatly. It would be wise to avoid criticism of our officers at this time. We still have another officer to bury and there will be plenty of time (two years) before the next election to campaign for office.

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