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."