LETTER: Jeff Gahler Discusses Sheriff's Office Staffing

Jeff Gahler, who ran for Harford County sheriff in the 2010 election, contends Sheriff L. Jesse presented incorrect information at two recent events.

Jeffrey Gahler, a Republican who in 2010, submitted a letter to local media criticizing recent comments about staffing levels made by the current sheriff.

Gahler contends Bane presented false information about the ratio of deputies to the population.

Here is the unedited letter in its entirety:

At two recent community "Town Hall" meetings, Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane took the opportunity to espouse "facts" concerning Sheriff’s Office staffing levels that are easily demonstrated to be an apparent work of fiction.  Sheriff Bane again provided misleading facts concerning his Office’s staffing levels during a subsequent news conference concerning the State shifting teacher pensions to the counties.

A simple check of Uniform Crime Report data published by the Maryland State Police shows that Sheriff Bane is either uninformed or is not being candid in his comments concerning deployment of County law enforcement resources.  The motivation for misrepresenting basic staffing is suspect.  Were the citizens of Harford County mislead for a political purpose or due to a lack of familiarity with reported facts?  Regardless of the motivation, the population and officer data does not equal 0.8 officers per 1000 citizens as Sheriff Bane claims.

Data provided to the Statewide Uniform Crime Reporting Program by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office reveal that the Harford County Sheriff’s Office reports 292 sworn law enforcement deputies, Maryland State Police reports 54 troopers assigned to Harford County, Havre de Grace Police Department reports 35 police officers, Bel Air Police Department reports 31 police officers, and the Aberdeen Police Department reports 45 police officers.  The data presented above is self reported by each agency and can be found on page 201 of the Report.

Data extracted directly from the 2010 Uniform Crime Report reveals Harford County’s population was 246,347 (page 96).  Using basic math, the actual ratio of officers to citizens is shown to be 1.9 officers per 1000 Harford County citizens (page 195).  Although this is a 2010 Report, it is the most up-to-date printed source for the information and the small changes in population and staffing over the past year are not significant enough to change the ratio.

Even when the population of the three incorporated municipalities is not included in the County’s total population, and only the Deputy Sheriffs and State Troopers who serve Harford County are included in the calculation, the ration is roughly 1.6 officers per 1000 Harford County citizens. To further the review into officer staffing in the County, utilizing only the number of Deputy Sheriffs in the equation, the ratio is roughly 1.2 officers per 1000 Harford County citizens.

I present these figures in an effort to establish an understanding of fact. The information presented by Sheriff Bane during the community meetings and press conferences is misleading and could lead a reader to believe he accomplishes much with little.  The fact is that by utilizing an antiquated staffing model discontinued by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and incorrect ratios of law enforcement officers to citizens, Sheriff Bane has attempted to seek some type of recognition and demonstrate a need for additional personnel while avoiding questions of need based on measurable data driven demands for law enforcement services.

More accurate staffing models for today’s police departments are based on calls for service and other definitive and measurable demands.  If there is a need for additional personnel, the citizens of this County should expect Sheriff Bane to use facts to demonstrate the need, not fiction.  We should all expect the complete facts from our elected officials, especially the Sheriff.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address an issue important to the safety of our communities.



Jeffrey R. Gahler

Link to 2010 Uniform Crime Report: http://icac.mdsp.org/downloads/2010_Crime_in_Maryland_Book.pdf

Andy Eisner March 03, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Get a life Mr. Gahler, stop crying over the loss of the election. Honestly, is this all you have to do with your time? In my opinion you are bitter and this is such a petty issue. Poor sport!
Rob Kennedy March 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM
He's not a poor sport, he's just making sure he does his job right and doesn't b.s. facts in the process. Thanks for making this information available and correcting his statistics. It may not be malicious as you make it out to be. It's possible he just sucks at math.
Ed Jr. March 03, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Eisner, Seems all you have to do with your time is defend Jesse Bane. Jeff Gahler simply laid out the facts and taxpayers should be thanking him for holding Jesse Bane accountable. Remember this is the same Jesse Bane that never really explained the Mark Forwood scandal. Remember Mark Forwood, made number 3 in charge by Bane, found guilty of theft, employed for months and months by the taxpayers to sit home. Hey Eisner, you say Jesse's a good guy though. What does that say about you?
Joe McCarthy March 04, 2012 at 06:30 AM
Stop the crying jeff,You lost! Its roughly 1.2? Actually its roughly 0.9 for officers in the department he commands! Perhaps when your calculations include injured and folks on vacation I think your conspiracy to mislead theories are just more sour grapes from the guy who came in second! Grow up!
Mary Hagy March 04, 2012 at 11:23 AM
You Bane lovers are a dangerous group. You fail to see what is right in front of you, in black and white. Just because the man holds up a candle at a vigil, he can do no wrong in your eyes. Thunderroach, you are clearly making up numbers. I'm sure Gahler is smart enough to use the actual number of deputies employed and not those who are on vacation. Typical Bane supporter though--stupid, stubbon and close-minded, just like your idol.
Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Mr. Gahler lost the Sheriffs election by 3% but that amounted to nearly 2,500 votes. And he had the support of the Republican Party which is about 51% of the Harford electorate. The voters chose wisely. In spite of a poor economy crime in Harford County is down compared to other parts of the state.
Andy Eisner March 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Wow Mary, you go right into attack mode! It's obvious to me you don't like Sheriff Bane, and that's your prerogative. However does 0.8 to 1.2 really justify an attack. Can you do the math and tell us what the difference is between 0.8 and 1.2 in physical human form actually means? It means 0.4 of another human being is being shorted. So I ask you, who the hell cares! I am a republican who chose to vote for the better man
Philip Einhorn March 22, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Sounds like you have a personal problem with Sheriff Bane. Too bad you don't realize what a good job he is doing for our county. Our streets are safer now than they were before his first election. With the gang problems and the economy he does not have an easy job. Our deputies work hard and we are glad for their service in Harford County.
Philip Einhorn March 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Mary like Andy Eisner I am also a Republican. There are many Republicans in Harford County that realize the job of Sheriff should not be political and voted for Sheriff Bane.By the way Jeff Gahler was one of the candidates for Sheriff during Jesse Banes first run that did not support the Republican candidate Norm Cochran that defeated them in the primaries.
Joseph D. March 22, 2012 at 08:11 PM
@Andy, Look at Mr. Gahler's most recent letter where he breaks down the formula. Looks like ".4 of a person" is about 81 more deputies. I didn't take the time to break down his math on the pay but looks like it is about 5 million dollars. I agree that no personal attack is needed. I would hope you would agree Jesse should know if he is talking about or be honest with his statements.
Joseph D. March 22, 2012 at 08:14 PM
My God, I have to spend all day clearing up Bane's supporters outright false statements (yes - more lies). Gahler did not run against Cochran or anyone else in 2006.
Marc Eaton March 22, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Joseph D your going to need a bigger broom.


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