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Sheriff Bane Responds To Gahler Letter On Staffing

While addressing contentions made in a letter to the editor from Jeff Gahler, Bane says he has never intentionally misled the public.

says his recent comments about staffing levels provide an accurate representation to the community.

"In my 39 years in law enforcement I have never made a public statement with the intent of misleading the public," Bane said.

Jeff Gahler, who ran against Bane in the , wrote that contends Bane provided false information at a and .

At these events, Bane said the sheriff's office is operating well below the national average with .8 officers to every 1,000 people.

"[T]he population and officer data does not equal 0.8 officers per 1000 citizens as Sheriff Bane claims," Gahler wrote .

Gahler contends there are actually 1.9 officers per 1000 Harford County citizens, as opposed to .8.

"The number that he cites is correct, however I don’t have that number to police the county," Bane told Patch Friday.

Bane explained that the number of sworn deputies working for the sheriff's office does not translate to the number of feet on the street. Some sworn deputies, those with the power to make an arrest, fulfill the sheriff's office responsibilities in court.

Some deputies are assigned to the Harford County Detention Center, others work on specific tasks like the county's drug taskforce and are not available for patrol, Bane said.

"When you take those officers out of the mix, I have .8, actually it’s a little less than .8, but who’s going to quibble over a tenth of a percentage point," Bane said.

Bane went on to say that when he made the comments about the ratio of deputies, he was not talking about staffing needs, but rather giving the community an idea of how many officers are patrolling the county.

He said it would be misleading the public to talk about the total number of sworn officers when explaining the number of officers policing the county.

"His claim that I’m making false statements isn’t true," Bane said.

The state, or national average, of law enforcement officers is 2.7 per 1,000 citizens, Bane and.

Bane said no matter which way you slice it, Harford County is below the average staffing levels for the state and the country.

Bane said even with these low staffing levels, the crime rate in the county in 2010 was half what it was in 1975. He cited numbers from the governor's office on crime control and prevention that indicate in 1975 there were 129,059 people in the county with a crime rate of 4,336 and in 2010, there were 246,347 people in the county and a crime rate of 2,173.

The numbers represent a decrease in the crime rate by more than half over that 35-year period.

He added that Harford has the fifth lowest crime rate in the state, but is surrounded by jurisdictions with higher crime rates.

"There’s a donut hole there and it is because of the hard work of the men and women of law enforcement in Harford County," Bane said. “No matter how you look at it we have fewer [officers on the street] than the state average and fewer than the national average to work with, but bottom line any jurisdiction in the nation would be proud to have the crime rate we have."

Even with these positive statistics, Bane said, there is a great need for more deputies.

He said if you talk to any deputy, "they would tell you if there’s anything they need it’s more police on the street."

Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Since you are retired why don't you chill out and enjoy your retirement. You sound like a bitter excop with; nothing else to do but gripe about things you can't control. The citizens of Harford County select who they want as Sheriff. They are happy with their Sheriff or they would not have reelected him for a second term. When you have hundreds of employees you will always have a few that are unhappy. The important thing is that they do their job properly. Very often when a department head makes a decision someone under their supervision will not like it. Good managers do not always win popularity contests but they get the job done.
Bob March 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM
First, I have no dog in this fight other than being a retired resident of Harford County. No tickets, etc. I don't know Gahler or Bane. But I do know this. If you want to see lots of Deputies grazing, just go to the WaWa in Hickory. Last week I saw 4 of them plus a MSP Trooper yucking it up with some blonde for at least 15 minutes. They were having a grand time on the taxpayer's dime. And what's with the almost daily (it seems) radar traps on Ring Factory Road between Emmorton Rd. (924) and Rt 24? Don't they have anything better to do then hassle people for speeding on a through street that have no children playing, etc.? The 30 mph limit is too low there and enforcing it so often is ridiculous. Finally, I'm tired of reading the excuse here that nothing can be done because there is a union. The sherriff should some guts and stand up to the union. Here's some ideas - tell the deputies to lose some weight or be fired. tell them to stop speeding while on routine patrol. Tell them to lose the attitude. They are not fighting or preventing crime. They are glorified after-the-fact report writers for God's sake. Get rid of those who have desk jobs and replace them with civilians. Tell them to stop hanging out in large groups at the local coffee joints stuffing their faces. And take away their off-duty cars. There' a budget crisis here.
Andy Eisner March 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Actually, no I don't have a designated time for lunch. And if policy is correct, no more then 2 deputies are to break at lunch at the same location. As for thanking them, really? For what, pulling me over for talking in the phone, and then watch them drive away on theirs? Are they better then or above the people they serve? You enjoy great benefits and free gas! All at the taxpayer dime. So if it's that bad, quit! Baltimore County and City have real, dedicated officers who truely put their lives on the line, I will thank them! No one is bashing, we are entitled to our opinion ajust as you are. And there are plenty of deputies who support the sheriff, just as you bash him!
SamBCP March 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM
What really gets me is that I am constantly seeing complaints on here about how the officers need to stop running radar, stop writing tickets, and move on to "fighting real crime" yet when fatal accidents occur, all you people do is complain that they aren't running enough radar! What the heck is wrong with you? So quick to judge when you have no real idea of what these officers do. Most of them work a rotating schedule, missing family events and holidays just to help out YOUR community. Taking a lunch break "all on the tax payers dime"? Really? I believe that if you were to work an 8 hour shift, you would hope to get a lunch break in! These men and women do their very best to protect our community. No one is perfect, and no matter how many officers you have on the streets crime will still occur. There are too many psychos out there compared to the number of officers. You make it sound like these officers are paid to eat, what a joke! They are not paid enough in my opinion! Do you have any idea what kind of idiots they deal with on a daily basis? The risk they take when going into work everyday? And they don't do that for themselves, they do it for all of us.
Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I don't understand what Mary Hagy meant when she accused Sheriff Bane of ignoring his own people. As an elected official of Harford County all of our citizens are his own people. He has a responsibility to the citizens of Edgewood as well as Bel Air and our other communities.
Andy Eisner March 05, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Well I guess a "boo hoo" is in order. How many people miss holidays and family events because of work? Most likely a lot, and most of them don't earn double and triple pay either. I was not complaining about the lunch breaks, yes we are all allowed to eat. Honestly, some of the deputies look as if they could skip a few meals. If you read what I wrote, it is the pensions, overtime, benefits and free gas on the taxpayer dime, not food! I would love to work an 8 hour shift, most people in the real working world without a union to back them up work 10 and 12 hours a day, miss holidays and birthdays. But they are thankful to have a job. As with most companies, there are always the ones who complian, yet never do anything about it. Take a look at their pay scale, then tell me if they should be paid more. Be sure to include free car, gas, pension, health benefits..etc...I know a few deputies who make a very comfortable living. I see ones who are off duty, driving a county vehicle on county gas working second jobs. I sure would like to be able to take my company car to my second job! In my world, I would be fired!
Marc Eaton March 05, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Thunder, you know when you beating a liberal in any conversation......they resort to name calling. Any deputy who knows me knows what I am made of. No half truths here my friend. Keep trying with the smoke screen.
Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Harford County can be proud of it's Sheriffs Department. Our officers work hard, are under paid and deserve our support. They do their jobs as well as any officers in the State. They deserve a break during their shifts as much as anyone else in other jobs. My guess is that on occasion some of them may meet at lunch to discuss their current activities as well as eating. This would actually save time for them to continue their services to the county. Sometimes we make assumptions without knowing the facts. The large volume of road accidents in February show that our deputies need to be patrolling the highways as much as fighting community crimes and it shows that our officers are understaffed. They need citizen support not negative garbage to prepare for an election that is still two years away.
Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Andy, as soon as an officer puts on his uniform and goes on duty he is in danger of being injured or losing his life.Your job does not require this of you. The officers travel at high speeds, work in difficult travel lanes while handling accidents and are responsible for protecting our citizens at the risk of their own life. They deserve better pay and any perks that the county can extend to them. By the way when they work overtime they are working in a stressful environment not like most people do in overtime work.
Marc Eaton March 05, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Andy, we have streets in Harford County. When we worked we worked on the streets. So I don't know where your going with that. ANY police officers puts his life on the line when he puts on the uniform and works in any department. So if your saying Harford County is not dangerous your wrong. Your questioning the stress of the men and women who work the streets of Harford County is really ignorant. You have no idea. Being an explorer is no where close to being a real cop. As for Meadows.... he used poor judgment but in the end he stepped down. When will Bane do this? Maybe soon? When you see these terrible things that are taking place like four or twelve cars why are you not bringing them to Bane's attention? Please do not go to the college during the week when the Sheriff's Office is running inservice. You could see this in Bel Air to. You have no idea why they are there do you? Several cars stopping one car load of kids? Back up is important and is taught in the academy, again if they are not needed they can clear. You know nothing about being a cop Andy but you do have a great deal of hatred for them. Did you apply and were turned down? Not all of us are cut out to do the job, its okay.
Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Every time you see a member of our armed forces you should thank them for their service. They are protecting us They volunteered to do so.. The same thing applys to our police officers. They are doing the same job on the local level.
Marc Eaton March 05, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Mr. Einhorn. I am enjoying my retirement thanks. One of the great things is that I have time to keep up on things. We are never "ex cops" were are former or retired cops. Only thing I am bitter about is that I can no longer be a cop, but we all have to retire sometime. Don't think for a second what is going on here is not having any effect on Bane. And there are more then a few who agree with me. You really think that all deputies support Bane and wanted him back? The men and women can do their jobs but often for vindictive reasons still can be harassed by Bane. So don't try the can't make everyone happy deal. BANE is not a good manager, when I left he was working on the red light camera program and it is still not completed. From emails and phone calls I have many who agree with me, more every day. Thanks for you advice though.
Marc Eaton March 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I would love to have Bob do a ride along. Does he take breaks? Does he realize that you may run call to call on any given night with no breaks or even get one meal. Or buy a meal and start eating and end up throwing it away. You see a few cops at a Wawa and you attack them like this. For my last six years I worked in the Traffic Unit and you would not believe the amount of calls we received for enforcement. From Bob's tone he has been stopped and cited and this is why he does not like traffic enforcement. And Bob are you serious, they were yucking it up with a blonde? Was she a wife, sister, or a girlfriend? Or do you just assume this was something bad? Never assume Bob, you require facts so give us the same thing. Remember this Bob, those guys yucking it up....they leave at the beginning of every shift not knowing if this is the day. Go from standing and yucking it up to being scared to death time after time. Deal with the family of a person who was killed in a car crash. Have a family member hug you as they cry when you tell them a loved one is dead. Go home and try to sleep after watching someone get bagged up after a suicide or a murder. Have you kids harassed at school because their dad is a cop. Have your house shot up when your family is sleeping and you are working. Then tell me what you think of them. You think we had a grand time on the tax payers dime? Do just one week in any of their shoes then you can have the right to talk this way.
Philip Einhorn March 05, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Marc, I am sorry to see such bitterness coming from our Sheriffs Department. It looks like our officers are divided against each other and no Sheriff could probably control that especially if it has been going on for a number of years. My closest friend is a retired Montgomery County Police Officer. He spent 25 years as a motorcycle officer. I have attended many social functions with him and met a lot of the former officers. I have heard them tell their war stories and joke with each other. I have never once heard one of them berate another officer or make any derogatory comments about the Montgomery County Police Department Last month I attended funeral services for my friends brother in Frederick Maryland (he was also a Montgomery County Officer for five years). I was amazed at the number of retired officers that attended his services. Their union even sent a bugler and a bagpipe player to his funeral even though it was out of the county. I asked my friend why they would do that especially since his brother was on the force for only five years and he said "once a brother always a brother". I would hope that the same feeling would be among the Harford County officers but I also think that some of the problem is caused by the election of a Sheriff from a political party. Even though the Sheriff does not vote on issues or create laws he has to run for office representing his party affiliation. This in itself does not help to bring harmony and unity to the department.
Marc Eaton March 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Mr. Einhorn, do not mistake bitterness for just being tired of the political gamesmanship. The division is coming from Bane and his chosen few. The Bane head hunters are in the minority trust me. I have never seen a Sheriff be so vindictive to people who choose to support the candidate of their choice. It would seem Bane picks and chooses which persons rights he will defend. I can name three who have had theirs walked all over.
Marc Eaton March 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Mildred, I do not know you and you do not know me. I have no right to tell you how to be a role model and you have no right to tell me. I to lost a child when I was very young, you never get over that loss. My mission is to bring to the light what is taking place under this Sheriff since the election. I research and post what is given to me. In my opinion I agree if more people were permitted to carry handguns who have no criminal background the bad guys would think twice before preying on someone. I support no candidate and will not during the election. My problem is with my friends who are being harassed by this man. I know his history. What I am doing benefits me in no way. Since Bane is such a strong supporter of peoples first amendments rights he should have no problems with what is being said on here.
1ke March 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Basically, those who choose law enforcement make a trade-off. The pluses: work in a respected occupation (whether they get sneered at or not is not the issue); the right to tell everybody but their superiors what to do; a living wage, good benefits, and early retirement; membership in a (mostly) collegial, (usually) straightforward organization. The minuses: shiftwork; dealings with criminals and scofflaws; lots of driving and exposure to road hazards; the pressure of being squeaky clean in life. Is everyone here sure that electing the chief of police is a good idea? Things aren't sounding so professionally managed to me.
Kevin Aylward March 08, 2012 at 12:41 PM
As a citizen, I'm noticing a trend toward politics being the prime subject, instead of police work. Everyone needs to grow up, and put on thier big boy pants. The system is what it is, and the people have chosen the leader . . . Get over it! In time, I think Harford County will have to field a Police Force that is answerable to the Executive branch like most modern municipalities. That will come when those who live in the rural areas of Harford County begin to become victimes of the crimes, and not likely before that. In the meantime. . . The big pink elephant of crime in our streets exists, like it or not. I think our officers are doing the best they can with what they have, but they just don't have enough. No matter who is in charge, our Men/Woman in uniform need more assets to fight the crime we have. There is a huge need for more intensive training, to enpower our people in uniform to deal with what has become a FAR more intense, organized and hardened criminal element. They are no longer dealing with the local bad boys acting out, that are otherwise good kids. They are now faced with hardened and street wise, world class criminals. This new element is planning thier criminal activities/organizations, while training in martial arts and weapons usage. They are not making a one time life mistake out of passion. If they choose to stab someone, it was likely planned carefully as an intentional act of intimidation or reprisal! The war on crime is here, grow up and get ready!
Kevin Aylward March 08, 2012 at 12:48 PM
PS - God bless and protect all of you! Some of us realize what you face every day. It has to be a hard choice to strap on that belt and badge every day! Don't allow the politics of our form of government make you lose focus for one minute. Your job is hard enough to allow such trivialities to cause dissention in your own ranks. Stand united!
Philip Einhorn March 08, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Well said Kevin. The members of our Sheriffs Department do not need outsiders trying to divide them into groups. They need to watch each other's back and leave the politics out. There are still two years before the election and we do not need our officers fighting with each other. They need to stop complaining to those who no longer work for the Department. This can only cause internal problems. It seems like Gahler is trying to cause problems within the Sheriff's Department to help him in the next election.
Carol March 12, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Amen Kevin. Our men and women in unforms do not need others telling them how to do their jobs. God Bless them and their families
Marc Eaton March 22, 2012 at 08:43 PM
What did he cry wolf about?
Marc Eaton March 22, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Honor? He has a deputy working the streets who was demoted for lying. Not fired....demoted. Not his first brush with dishonesty. A deputy caught in a county vehicle with a civilian employee getting a Lewinsky! Same deputy makes a gang video! Will not promote people because of personal vendettas! Because of law suits and supporting the wrong people in an election. Transfers a worker who has done her job well for 17 years! She to did not support the right person for Sheriff. Honor, integrity are not words that should be used in the same sentence with Bane's name. No he is not the most upstanding and HONEST and hardworking sheriff Harford County has ever had. Mudslinging may not be his style but being a vindictive bully is his style. Cowards usually act this way.
Marc Eaton March 22, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Yes this was the beginning of the hug a thug campaign by Bane. This is also the incident where he humiliated one of the best crime scene technicians the Sheriff's Office had. Any loss of life is sad. Loss of a child even worse. Exploiting that loss for political gain is just shameful. Honor my big toe.
Marc Eaton March 22, 2012 at 09:05 PM
"In my 39 years in law enforcement I have never made a public statement with the intent of misleading the public," Bane said. Bane, how about behind closed doors?
Philip Einhorn March 22, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Marc if your law enforcement career is over you could find a hobby or you could spend some of your time doing volunteer work. I spend two days a week at our Church giving food to the needy. It relieves frustration and makes me feel like I am making a difference. I hope you find something to release your anger. We in Harford County reelected Sheriff Bane because most of us believe he is doing a good job. The citizens get another opportunity to decide in two years. While he is our Sheriff he deserves our support.
Marc Eaton March 22, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Is that the best you have? I am retired and I have a good time doing this. I have a hobby also so thanks. I am expressing my freedom of speech and Jesse supports me in this. If I was singing the praises of L J Bane would you be my buddy? Does Bane know your on here while you are working?
Philip Einhorn March 22, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Marc I am also retired so I am not working as I write this. You certainly have the right to free speech. While enjoying this right, as an ex-police officer you know that free speech can cause problems. The problems that I see in your posts is that it might affect our deputies work. They need confidence in their leadership to do their jobs and your actions can only cause problems for those who read or hear your rants. If you think you could do a better job as Sheriff why don't you run for the office? It is always easy to criticize from the outside when you have no responsibility for the outcome.
Marc Eaton March 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Phillip, I get my information from those deputies. And your right it is hard to do your job when you work for a vindictive bully like Bane. Your right they need to have confidence, as long as Bane is the Sheriff they will not have that. You never question anything I say you just call them rants. I can back everyone of them up with facts. Bane will address Gahler why not me? I know I could do a better job then Bane. These guys know I would have their backs and these silly political games would not be played. Would you like to be my campaign manager? As you can see I pretty much say what I want, does not make for a good politician now does it? I am not politically correct. You would not have a problem with me if I was a FOJ.
Marc Eaton March 04, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Mildred, you don't want to loose your free finger printing and back ground checks paid for by Sheriff Bane.

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