Sussex County Sheriff files suit

Sussex County Online User Forums: Sussex County Delaware Discussion Forum: Sussex County Sheriff files suit
By M.Opaliski on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 02:48 pm:

First, read the excerpt below taken from Delaware's State Constitution. It is printed in typical black and white, and surprisingly, easy to follow English.

Article XV, Section 1 of the Delaware Constitution

¤ 1. Conservators of the peace.

Section 1. The Chancellor, Judges and Attorney-General shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State; and the Sheriffs shall be conservators of the peace within the counties respectively in which they reside.

Despite what could not be made any clearer by that which is spelled out in the Delaware Constitution, the Sheriff in Sussex County has been forced to file a law suit in order to pursue the duties of his Office, one which he was elected to fill. Without going into the history of the Office of Sheriff, because frankly it does not matter what previous Sheriff's did or did not do here in Sussex, allow me to say that I fully support Sheriff Reed in his attempt to serve as it is written in the law.

This dilemma with the Sheriff has been ongoing in Sussex for some time now and has included many elected officials, all of whom have sworn in some form or another to protect and uphold the Constitution of their Country and State. They are failing miserably at that task.

Conservator of the peace can be defined as the following -

(a) An officer who has charge of preserving the public peace, as a justice or sheriff. (b) One who has an official charge of preserving the rights and privileges of a city, corporation, community, or estate.

Could it be any clearer ...?

By Della George on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 02:31 pm:

Does that mean that judges, chancellors, and attorney generals should have law enforcement throughout the state with no training? I think not! Did that definition of "conservator of the peace" come from Delaware Law? There are definitions in Title 11 aid in the understanding of how the State meant them to be used.

Sussex County does not need county law enforcement. It certainly does not need Mr. Reed involved in any type of law enforcement. This would be a colossal mistake. When the topic first surfaced, during his term anyway, he made several public promises in interviews that he had no intentions of establishing a county law enforcement organization or changing the duties of the Sherriff's department to that extent. Have you heard him lately? In his desperation he is actually sueing the Attorney General and someone else who wasn't even in the postition to remove his precious light bars at the time it was requested. The man is doing exactly what he promised he wouldn't! We do not need such a liar involved in (not to mention in control of) any law enforcement organization. He is even proposing that more than one third of his small department be administrative. He can't possibly provide quality service with the budget he has in mind. Unless maybe he has additional funds in mind. That would not be a surprise coming from him. After all, his word is so reliable. The Sherriff's Department was pulling over cars and making traffic stops when they didn't have the proper back-up, training, or education. That clearly shows a gross lack of responsibility, intelligence, and sense of safety for all those involved.

Anyone who is at all familiar with law enforcement in New Castle County knows that jurisdiction has been an ongoing, long-existing problem between Delaware State Police and New Castle County Police. It has repeatedly effected service and even response times. We do not need to duplicate this problem. If Sussex County makes an agreement with the State Police to assist in the funding of additional road officers within Sussex County, I'm sure that's where the money will go, as will the officers. Safeguarding that is a trivial ordeal.

Wake up, people. We don't need another power-hungry politician in control of any law enforcement organization anywhere in the state.


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By M Opaliski on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 10:03 am:

Yes, it means exactly that, those positions are as much conservators of the peace as is the sheriff and vice versa, it is very clear on that point allbeit that the sheriffs have jurisdiction in one county only.

No, that defintion came from a dictionary because "conservator of the peace" is not defined in Delaware law. The Constitution was created before Title 11 and is quite clear so there is no need to aid in what the state meant, but if you would like to assume what they meant by all means you are free to do so. The following excepts are taken from an opinion that was issued by the Delaware Attorney Generalâs Office in 1995 to the Delaware Family Court in reference to ãTransportation of Criminal Offenders from Family Courtä. Surprisingly, or perhaps unlike now, it was simply convenient at the time that this opinion in itâs reference to the powers of the Sheriff suggest arguments that mirror those being made by the current Sussex County Sheriff, Robert L. Reed. As a point of interest to those who have been following this issue, the current Delaware Attorney General took office in 1994; again this opinion was issued in 1995. This may help you to find what was meant by the state ...

~~~~~

ãYou have asked which agency is responsible for the transportation of criminal offenders from Family Court courthouses to prison upon sentencing in the late afternoon hours after the Department of Correction (the "Department") has concluded transporting prisoners for the day. We conclude that Delaware has no specific statute requiring any particular state or county agency or officer to transport newly incarcerated criminal offenders · For the reasons stated below, however, we conclude that in the absence of such a statute, based upon common law, the Sheriff's office in the respective county has a duty to transport prisoners from the courthouse to prison pursuant to an appropriate order of the Court.

First, we recognize that the office of the Sheriff in each of the respective counties lacks the financial and human resources to provide transportation for sentenced criminal offenders from Family Court to prison on a regular basis · Therefore, we believe that the ultimate resolution of this complex problem lies with either legislation or mutual agreement based upon the cooperative input of the Courts, the Department, the Sheriff's offices and the other law enforcement agencies concerned.

Second, we understand that the transportation of criminal offenders · is currently conducted on an ad hoc basis in each of the counties. The Department transports criminal offenders from Family Court during routine scheduled trips ... However, it appears there are occasions when offenders are sentenced at times when the Department has completed its regularly scheduled transportation. When the Department is not available to transport criminal offenders, various police agencies including the State Police, the Capitol Police and the Sheriff assist with the transportation. Apparently, none of these law enforcement agencies possess sufficient resources to provide transportation of criminal offenders on a regular or daily basis during periods when the Department is unavailable for such transportation ·

Fourth, while our research revealed no express state statute requiring the Office of the Sheriff or any other state or county agency to transport criminal offenders from Family Court to prison beyond the transportation responsibilities undertaken by the Department, article XV, ¤ I of the Delaware Constitution provides that "sheriffs shall be conservators of the peace within the counties respectively in which they resideä · The Office of Sheriff in the United States maintains all of its common law duties and powers except those which have been modified by statute · The Delaware statutes relating to the Office of Sheriff enumerate some of the common law duties of the office. However, these statutes do not limit other duties held by the Sheriff under the common law. The Court of Appeals of Maryland addressing the common law duties of a Sheriff · stated as follows · ãOrdinarily Sheriffs retain the powers they possessed at common law including conserving public peace, preserving public order, preventing and detecting crime, enforcing criminal laws by, among other things, raising a posse and arresting persons who commit crimes in their presence, providing security for courts, serving criminal warrants and other writs and summonses, and transporting prisonersä · Accordingly, it follows that Sheriffs in their respective counties in Delaware still maintain the duty · under the common law in that the legislature has not expressly restricted or otherwise modified this duty.

We note that the powers and duties of a Sheriff are similar to that of a constable. The duties of a constable in Delaware · include the execution of lawful orders, warrants and other process issued by any court in the state · Based on the foregoing, we conclude that while there is no express state statute requiring Sheriffs to transport prisoners, Sheriffs in their respective counties have a common law obligation to transport prisoners · This obligation is based upon the common law duties retained by the office of Sheriff which to this point have neither been expressly abrogated or modified by the General Assembly.ä

~~~~~

Itâs clear that 7 years ago this August which is when this was released, it was the opinion of the Attorney Generalâs Office that Delaware Sheriffs were thought to be police and or law enforcement agencies that had arrest powers and were charged with, among other duties, preserving public order, preventing and detecting crime and enforcing criminal laws as conservators of the peace.

This issue has been spelled out clearly so many times that it seems foolish for it to have to be decided in the courts. However, those who accept reality and will not allow political or personal ties to govern their thought will remain steadfast and see this through to its end. The Delaware Attorney General cannot call both sides of this coin, there is no room to pick and choose what authority the Delaware Sheriffs have from year to year and from Sheriff to Sheriff. Itâs time for both the State Constitution and the Attorney Generalâs sworn oath of office to be put on the desk for a slight refresher.

Sheriff Robert L. Reed does not intend to create a county police force, he simply wants to serve as he was elected to do. There is no need for a County Law Enforcement Agency when there is a Sheriffs Department already in exsistance. Nor does he want to change anything, it is already written how it is supposed to be. Aside from that there are other factors to consider. If you are unhappy with the way things shape up, along with a majority of the voters, keep in mind that this is an elected office and the Sheriff can be replaced every 4 years if the people are not satified. Also, of all the talk and hot air being blown around Georgetown with the need for more police in Sussex there is nothing being done about it. The state is willing if the county pays and the county is willing if the state pays half .. either way, neither of the two are doing a thing about it. Here you have a Shariff that has a plan and is willing to do his part as he was elected to do yet meets with constant opposition from those who claim we need to do something. Is that ironic to only me?

As to the Sheriff pulling over car(s), it was one car and it was a friend of a State Representative, who is also a retired State Police officer. He then repoted it to the Attoney General ... who is married to a retired State Police officer. Do you see a connection there ... talk about a power grab. As to the untrained Sheriff who did this, a former Georgetown Police officer ... do you think they train them for traffic stops over ther in Georgetown, I'd say they do.

Sussex pays for State Police, if Sussex needed less State Police because there was a full and active Sheriff's Office the State Police would recieve less money, or perhaps we in Sussex would stop buying their protection all together ... what then, lots of lost revenue for the State Police. Those are good reason to oppose the current Sheriff if you have ties to the State Police.

You can access the opinion that I referenced on the net here.

By Della George on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 09:10 am:

Reed wants to exercise more of what he feels are his rights to enforce laws and assist with the police shortage in Sussex County. If that's not creating county police/law enforcement then I don't know what is.

Mr. Reed may be an ex-police officer, but not everyone in the Sherriff's office is. I can tell you from first hand experience/observations that more than one vehicle has been pulled over by more than one employee of the Sherriff's office. This is a foolish act when you don't have all the proper communication necessary with other agencies and follow the proper procedures. And they didn't. I have no ties with the State Police, nor did all of the people that were pulled over.

When you're dealing with public safety, you need people with a little more common sense and integrity than that.

By M Opaliski on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 01:14 pm:

You are wrong in that he does not want to excercise what are the rights of the Sheriff, he wants to excercise what are the written duties of the office. He is not trying to launch a new intiative, he is trying to jump start what has been dead for far too long.

Good point on the training, which points out another issue that has come up and another avenue where the Sheriff has been stone-walled by the DSP. When the Sheriff asked to have his deputies recieve training throught the DSP Academy, where all but two municipal forces in the state recieve their training they refused to allow them to attend. If that doesn't speak volumes of the bias shown by the DSP nothing does.

And, if you are suggesting that just because someone wears the DSP uniform they have common sense and integrity please explian just what happened to the DSP Officer that was recently charged, within the last two weeks, with DUI for geting involved in a single car accident while off-duty where he wrecked his state vehicle and has been on medical leave since the date of the accident ... or the DSP Officer that was recently charged with a few counts of rape for molesting a child under the age of 2 years in the Milford area. Of course I do not mean to discredit the entire DSP for the actions of two, but the argument of common sense and integrity that you have made obviosly holds no water in that repect.

I see that you failed to comment on or offer rebuttal on the majority of what I responded with, specifically the 1995 opinion of this Attorney General. Would you care to take a crack at it ... ? How about the loss of county funding that the DSP may stand to lose if Sussex should collectively no longer wish to be held to the current patnership, one that is nothing short of extortion because as a Law Enforcement Agency the DSP is chagred with patrolling the entire state, yet nowhere in Delaware Code does it state that Sussex County shall pay for that protection from it's own county funds.

By Della George on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 05:02 pm:

"And, if you are suggesting that just because someone wears the DSP uniform they have common sense and integrity please explian..."

I never said any such thing. I said, "When you're dealing with public safety, you need people with a little more common sense and integrity than that." (Refering to their practice of pulling over cars.)

You're bringing up a few bad apples in departments of how many hundreds of people? What percentage of police officers do those officers make up? And you obviously aren't aware of many of the things that have happened with the Sherriff's office if you think one car was pulled over by one man. What percentage of those people were doing things they shouldn't be doing? How many years should we look back into that one? Their reputation is much more smudged than any police department in the state. Why do you suppose that is?

The opposition is not just coming from DSP, and I'm not sure where that idea came from. The soiled reputation of the Sherriff's office in Sussex county has bred much of the opposition. I have watched them in action--repeatedly. I would not want them to act as law enforcement officers, either. Just look at how Mr. Reed has spoken from both sides of his mouth since this all started. I do not trust him at all.

I do not agree with the county having to pay from its funds. I believe that could be a legitimate challenge in court, but there are so many different ways to justify officer distribution that we may still have to pay for more if we want more. We would be better off with more of what we already have. There would be more consistency, better qualified officers, less jurisdictional disputes, and better response times. And those are important safety issues.

I did not comment on your statements about the Attorney General's opinion, just as you did not comment on each of my points either. I didn't because I want to research it more. I remember when this was going on, and I believe you've left some things out. You certainly did when it came to the Sherriff's office pulling over cars.

You seem to be quite distracted by finances, what you feel are the Sherriff's rights, and possibly some type of grudge against DSP. The important issue at hand here is public safety. The sniveling and whining of an elected official wanting to expand his rights on his own interpretation of Delaware law is quite selfish, especially when it would not be the best thing for the safety of the community. I have yet to see in Title 11 or in any Attorney General opinion where his ideas are the "duties" of the Sherriff's office. But I will continue to research.

By Della George on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 05:14 pm:

By the way, I accessed your link. It does not express the opinion of the Attorney General regarding anything other than court duties and the sherriff and transorting prisoners. I'm glad I checked it out instead of taking for granted that it really said that. Your reference to the law enforcement duties is from a Montgomery County Maryland case that was taking place. Delaware neither agreed nor disagreed with that case. I don't know how you figured that to be the Attorney General's opinion.

By M Opaliski on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 09:45 pm:

I have no grudge against the DSP, overall I would say that they do an excellent job in Delaware. I have been through their Citizen's Police Academy as well as participated in ride alongs within Troop 5 and have never personally meet with anything but curtious professional service or behavior with any interactions I have had with the DSP. Having said that, I will forever continue to disagree with the opposition put forth by the DSP as a whole in reference to the Sheriffs in Delaware, specifically the current Sheriff of Sussex County.

I'm glad that you accessed the link, the opinions contained in that release did specifically relate to prisoner transportation but they are not limited to such, that was a general opinion and it's scope can be called on in any reference to the authority of the Sheriffs in Delaware. That is not my reference, it was released by the Delaware Attoney General's office and I would suggest that the fact they they included text from a Maryland case is enough to conclude they agreed with it.

I figure it is the opinion of the Attorney General because it was that office that issued the opinion.

By Della George on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 10:31 am:

Maybe you should read it again.

By M Opaliski on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 12:17 pm:

I have read it and I understand what the Attoney General's Office was trying to get across. If you feel that it means otherwise there is nothing that I can do about it.

In an attempt to make it simple for you, try relating it to something along the following line ...

If the Attoney General issued the opinion that a car parked in a WaWa parking lot was blue, the color of the car, based on that opinion does not change just because the car has left the lot. If it's blue then it is blue untill someone puts forth the effort and changes the color. Likewise, the Sheriff has the powers and authority as described in that opinion until the legislature puts forth the effort to change it.

By Della George on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 04:36 pm:

Yeah, if the Attorney General said, "There is a court case in Montgomery County involving a blue car," that doesn't mean that the Attorney General necessarily feels the one at the Wawa was blue. They made mention of something and said this is what's happening elsewhere, but gave no indication of agreement or disagreement.

You're really grabbing at straws with that one.

By M Opaliski on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 05:11 pm:

What part of this do you have trouble with?

~~~~~

"When the Department is not available to transport criminal offenders, various police agencies including the State Police, the Capitol Police and the Sheriff assist with the transportation. Apparently, none of these law enforcement agencies possess sufficient resources to provide transportation of criminal offenders on a regular or daily basis during periods when the Department is unavailable for such transportation."

"Therefore, we believe that the ultimate resolution of this complex problem lies with either legislation or mutual agreement based upon the cooperative input of the Courts, the Department, the Sheriff's offices and the other law enforcement agencies concerned."

"The Delaware statutes relating to the Office of Sheriff enumerate (to count off or name one by one; to list) some of the common law duties of the office. However, these statutes do not limit other duties held by the Sheriff under the common law. The Court of Appeals of Maryland addressing the common law duties of a Sheriff á stated as follows á "Ordinarily Sheriffs retain the powers they possessed at common law including conserving public peace, preserving public order, preventing and detecting crime, enforcing criminal laws by, among other things, raising a posse and arresting persons who commit crimes in their presence, providing security for courts, serving criminal warrants and other writs and summonses, and transporting prisoners" á Accordingly (agreeably; correspondingly; consequently; suitably), it follows that Sheriffs in their respective counties in Delaware still maintain the duty á under the common law in that the legislature has not expressly restricted or otherwise modified this duty."

~~~~~

If you don't get it, it's beacause you don't want to get it.

By Della George on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 08:45 am:

Apparently, your not very well-versed in case law. Your making it into something that isn't there. You're repeating the same irrelevant things. There's no sense in continuing with you if your thinking is that limited.

By M Opaliski on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 09:46 am:

As you wish, after all that is your perogative and you're entitled to do as you please.

By twilliams on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 03:00 pm:

Della George

Here are a few things for you to chew on.

First just for general knowledge.


Quote:

"11 Del. C. ¤ 222. General definitions.

When used in this Criminal Code:
(14)"Law-enforcement officer" includes police officers, the Attorney General and the Attorney General's deputies, sheriffs and their regular deputies agents of the State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, correctional officers, state fire marshals, municipal fire marshals that are graduates of a Delaware Police Academy which is accredited/authorized by the Council on Police Training, environmental protection officers, enforcement agents of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and constables."




Who has arrest authority?

Quote:

"11 Del. C. ¤ 1904. Arrest without warrant.
(a) An arrest by a peace officer without a warrant for a misdemeanor is lawful whenever the officer has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a misdemeanor:"




Notice arrest authority is given to peace officers not police officers. Isn't a "conservator of the peace", by definition, a peace officer?

One of the sections used by the AG's office to abrogate the Sheriff's authoirty was this...


Quote:

"11 Del. C. ¤ 1911. Police officers; statewide authority.
(a) For purposes of this section "police officer" means any police officer holding current certification by the Council on Police Training as provided by Chapter 84 of this title and who is:"followed by a list of agencies




It specifically applies that definition of a police officer to that section only. Meaning this definition doesn't apply elsewhere in Del. Code. How could this definition then legally be used to deinfe a police vehicle under Title 21?

In addition subsection 7 of that section lists


Quote:

(7) A law enforcement officer of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;



those officers are Park Rangers, EPO's and Fish and Wildlife Agents.

Del. Code also reads:

Quote:

"7 Del. Code ¤ 1313. Peace officers ex officio Fish and Wildlife Agents.
All sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and police officers, and all other peace officers of this State, shall be ex officio Fish and Wildlife Agents."




If Sheriff/ Deputies are Fish and Wildlife agents and Fish and Wildlife agents are police officers then arent' Sheriffs/ Deputies fish and wildlife agents? i.e simple Algerbra A=B, B=C then A=C

The other section of Del. Code which the AG's office used was

Quote:

"11 Del. C ¤ 8401. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:....
(5) Police Officer...
b. For purposes of this chapter this term shall not include the following:

1. A sheriff, regular deputy sheriff or constable;"




Again, how can a definition that is explicitly limited to this chapter be applied to an altogether different title?

Matt is right on the Montgomery County ruling well. The ruling states;

Quote:

"The Delaware statutes relating to the Office of Sheriff enumerate some of the common law duties of the office. However, these statutes do not limit other duties held by the Sheriff under the common law."




This was not a quote from the MD case, but a statement of fact by DAG Lewis. Del law has placed no limitations on the authority of the Sheriff that I'm aware of, therefore the Sheriff retains all common law authority, which anyone can tell you is full police power.

And here is one more excerpt from the Delaware Supreme Court from a 1998 case to help you in your understanding of this case.


Quote:

"Of course, there was no such entity as the State Police in 1897. But there were sheriffs and other conservators of the peace."




The Supreme Court was asked to determine whether or not there was a Consitutional conflict in a Trooper holding a legislative office. Obviously there were no troopers at the time the Constitution was written so the Supreme Court used a comparable agency that did exist at that time, the Sheriff. Oh, and guess what. That same consitutional authority the sheriff had then, still exists today.

"Mr. Reed may be an ex-police officer, but not everyone in the Sherriff's office is. "

And you know this how?
I have been told that all of the Sheriff's road deputies have law enforcement training.

"Sussex County does not need county law enforcement."
Then why do we keep paying money to the State Police?

Nonetheless, if you pay attention to Sheriff Reed's statements, his concern has been to re-establish the powers of the Sheriff under the State Constitution. The proposal to add further personnel are simply used as a frame of reference to the county government. He is saying, "Hey guys, you can do it cheaper that what you're getting from DSP"

Either way, I can truly state that there is a need for more law enforcement in Sussex County and I do not believe the county should subsidize the State. If the county wants to spend $$ on public safety, let them dump it into the Sheriff's Office, County Police, or subidize local agencies that respond outside their limits to assist DSP.

By M Opaliski on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 05:44 pm:

It a lost cause T, however good luck with trying to reason with her.

By twilliams on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 08:18 am:

True Matt, perhaps I should have just said, "checkmate"

By M Opaliski on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 09:04 am:

You could try it but I'd be willing to bet that there is an argument made that the rule doesn't really mean what it really means.

Might you be attending the meeting tonight in Georgetown ... drop me an email if you think you might be interested.

By Lewis on Monday, April 29, 2002 - 10:46 pm:

I see your point about the power of the Sheriff's office. I grew up in Salisbury and watched the Wicomico County Sheriff's department grow from a little transporting and document delivering agency to a full force crime prevention unit. The deal that the Sheriff's, City and State police departments have struck up make me feel much safer in that county, city and state on the eastern shore. I cannot understand why the citizens of Sussex County wouldn't want an alliance between city county and state law enforcement agencies to better serve and protect. We all scream that we need more police protection. What difference does it make if it's city sheriff or state?! As long as we have well trained officers that can respond in time.

Just a thought.

By not reed on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 10:58 am:

we don't need badge heavy Reed with full police powers. when asked where the $ would come from to fund the department Reed replied "from traffic tickets." I always thought police budgets were not to be funded by fines. Comments?

By Sussex Cop on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 04:31 pm:

Della George is ovlivious to the fact that the Delaware State Police are unable to provide full service to Sussex County now. Things have not changed in the more than the decade that I have served as a police officer in Sussex County.

The DSP has a strong political lobby in Delaware. Not only does that lobby cause friction bewteen DSP and the rest of the police agencies in the state, but it's also unethical.

DSP has successfully lobbied the Sussex County Council for funding on more than one occasion. Fuding that was supposed to put more troopers on the road to better serve and protect citizens of Sussex. Sure the DSP used the money to train and equip new troopers in Sussex. But they didn't tell you that they moved an equal number of troopers off the road to specialized units and replaced them with the new ones. So there are no more uniformed troopers on the road now than back then.

The biggest warngin sign should have come when the STATE governement asked a COUNTY government for funding for a STATE agency! Isn't the state responsible for providing their OWN services? The bottom line is that SUssex COunty taxpayers paid TWICE for DSP services. Services that are poor, inadequately administered and long out of date.

Generally, the state of Delaware is so far behind in public safety technology and procedures that it's dangerous. The professionals in law enforcement, fire-rescue and EMS services are suffering under outdated policies, procedures and equipment. The volunteer fire-rescue and EMS services suffer under the same conditions. The money that the county spent on DSP should have been distributed to police, fire-rescue and EMS agencies throughout Sussex.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars. It could have been spent on expanding the county sheriff's department. It could have been spent on staffing professional/career firefighters and EMS personnel in the county. It could have been spent on existing municipal police departments that pick up the slack for DSP on a routine, daily basis.

Don't get me wrong here .. there are plenty of good troopers on the road. There are plenty would make great cops serving with another agency in the county. The problem with the DSP lies in the administration and the remaining "old school" or "good ol' boys" mentality. Nepitism and politics runs rampant in DSP, causing poor service and poor relations througout the state.

If you live in rural Sussex, or even just outside of a town ... take a look around. How many times do you see a Delaware State Police cruiser patrol your street? How long would that trooper take to repsond to your emergency call to 911? I KNOW that if you call 911 in a dire emergency, you would see a municipal police officer arrive long before DSP.

Adding more deputies to the streets is simply smart. It's the best thing to do to improve policing in Sussex.

By Sussex Cop on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 04:46 pm:

By not reed on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 10:58 am: "we don't need badge heavy Reed with full police powers. when asked where the $ would come from to fund the department Reed replied "from traffic tickets." I always thought police budgets were not to be funded by fines. Comments?"

Not Reed:

You are wrong in the fact that Sheriff Reed is not needed. He is the first person to publicly state and argue the fact that Sussex County needs improved policing.

You are also wrong in thining that police budgets are not funded by traffic fines.

You are RIGHT, in assuming, that such budgets should NOT be funded by traffic tickets.

If I write a traffic ticket in Delaware, the fine breaks down as follows:

1. Base fine (the largest dollar amount on a ticket)
2. Victims of Crime Compensation charge
3. Video Phone Costs ($1)
4. Court costs (at least $15)
5. Seat Belt assessment (if the seat belts are not worn)

The agency writing the ticket gets the entire BASE FINE. The rest goes to the state.

I write a speeding ticket for 9 miles over the limit. The total fine is $46.25. Of that total fine, the police agency gets $29.

Corrupt? Certainly. Cause internal problems in local government? You bet. Unethical? Absolutely, positively, 100%.

Quotas are illegal. Period. However, as with anything there are loopholes. Most police agencies (like mine) work under a Town Council form of government. Thechief of police serves "at the pleasure" of Town Council. The Town Council likes money. The police are an excellent source of reveue from traffic tickets. SO, when they town council wants money, they presssure the Chief. The Chief issues evaluations of officers based upon work they perform. Traffic tickets are given a high value in the evaluation. So, the more tickets an officer writes, the higher evaluation they will have. More tickets = more money for the town = a good evaluation for the officer. Once again ... corrupt? You decide.

Why doesn't Delaware operate like many other states? Money from trasffic tickets should be placed in state coffers and then distributed to municpal governments based upon enforcement efforts, agency size, crime problems, and equipment needs. Elminate the local level corruptness and borderline violations of labor laws.

Go around and look at a few town budgets (they're public information). Look at the revenue made by the police department. Look at the expenditures on the police department. Many departments pay for themselves.

By Sussex Cop on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 04:51 pm:

Mr. Opaliski,

I certainly hope you support the upcoming proposed legislation from Sen. Bunting.
As a street level police officer in Sussex County, I can tell you first hand that we are in need of help out here. Expanding the powers and duties of the sheriff is a small step towards improved policing in and for Sussex.
Thank you.

By Sussex Cop on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 05:18 pm:

A large part of policing problems in Delaware falls somewhere in between DSP politics and jurisdiction.

Why has Delaware state government not proposed legislation related to township police departments? The ability to combine police agencies using existing budgets and personnel makes sense.

Take a look at the state of Pennsylvania. Existing laws there allow two or more towns to combine their existing police departments in a township agency. This enables citizens to have expanded police services and allows the police expanded jurisdiction. Township police agencies fill in that void or "no-man's land" issues faced by Sussex County.

Existing mutual aid law in Delaware is weak. IT fails to provide the full authority and protection to police officers assisting other agencies. It leaves too many open holes for civil litigation against police and local governments.

I hope our state government researches township police departments, related legislation and effectively weigh the pros and cons.

By M.Opaliski on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 11:30 am:

Sussex Cop -

I'm well aware of the need for help, by all agencies, when it comes to policing all of Sussex County. No one department could, or should, try to police the entire area as if it were the only one in existence. Only by working together, minus the power grabs, the egos and the politics, can law enforcement agencies, which ever they may happen to be, serve Sussex County as needed.

As for the proposal put forth by Sen. Bunting, the original one that is, which was sent to the local media on December 18th, 2002, by Sen. Bunting, I could never support it. On it's face it looks to be a good piece of legislation because it does in fact recognize, by statute, the police powers of the Sheriffs in Delaware. In that regard it's a well-written proposal. But, at the same time it gives the County Government, any of the three, the authority to revoke and restrict said power by enacting a County ordinance. The synopsis claims to resolve the issue, but it clearly doesn't. The proposal, as released on December 18th, 2002, is nothing more than a pacifier.

Now, as I understand it, an amendment has been drafted and proposed by Sussex County's Sheriff, Robert Reed. If that amendment was to be adopted it would change the entire scope of the legislation, which is a good thing. The amendment removes the total discretion clause that would be vested in the County Governments as it relates to the authority of the Sheriffs in Delaware under Sen. Bunting's proposal, thus leaving in place the Sheriffs authority, defined by statute, but gives the County Governments the option to fund, further fund or restrict funding to any of the three Sheriffs Offices in the state.

The amendment also allows for Sheriffs, and their Deputies to attend training at the DSP academy, and makes it mandatory for a newly elected Sheriff to attend training, if they have no prior law enforcement training or experience.

Sen. Bunting's proposed legislation, coupled with Sheriff Reed's proposed amendment is something that I could, and would fully support.

Lastly, thanks for taking the time to share your insight and thoughts on the matter of policing in Sussex County, it's appreciated.

Regards -

Mathhew A. Opaliski
100 Sussex Avenue
PO Box 695
Greenwood, De 19950
302.349.9356
302.236.8099 (cell)

By Sussex Cop on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 02:17 pm:

Mr. Opaliski,

I wish there were more politicians like you in Delaware. I hope that your views and actions make a positive impact not only in Sussex County, but throughout the state of Delaware.

P.S. Thanks for the clarification on the proposed legislation. I would only support it in an amended form as well.

By M.Opaliski on Wednesday, January 08, 2003 - 04:26 pm:

I need to make a correction, as it relates to what my understanding was of one of the provisions put forth by Sheriff Reed. I stated that under the revised proposal (amended version), Sheriffs, and their Deputies would attend training at the DSP academy, and in the end when this is all sorted out they most likely will, however it is simply stated that Sheriffs, and their Deputies shall attend training at an accredited police academy that is approved by the Council on Police Training, which doesn't necessarily mean the DSP academy will be used.

My apologies for the error, and Sussex Cop, thanks for the comments.

By NOT REED on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 07:40 am:

WE DO NOT NEED BADGE HEAVY REED. OH BY THE WAY OFFICER - I WAS "ON THE JOB" WHEN YOU WERE PROBALY IN DIAPERS AND THERE WASN'T ANYBACK UP AVAILABLE.

By Support Sheriff Reed on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 10:58 am:

Does anyone really know how far the DSP has gone to undermind the credibilty of the Sussex County Council. The council asked for stats on police calls for service in Sussex County. Who did they ask? The DSP. The DSP wanted the council to vote on funding for more officers in Sussex. The stats that were given were far from the truth. Anyone interested? Read the News Journal article that Guy Chipman posted a while back then ask the Troops in Sussex how many complaints they handled. The article said the figures did not include municipal figures. I know Mr. Chipman printed what he was told but he was told wrong. Sheriff Reed, I hope you succeed in your venture. I would like to think you will take good care of the people in Sussex. We could always use more police, especially those who want and are willing to serve.

By Support Sheriff Reed on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 03:58 pm:

Correction for the last message. The author of the News Journal article was Chip Guy.

By Supporting the way things are on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 01:13 pm:

It is a shame the way this is going, I would like a State Trooper to show up to my rural country location when the need arises, and when I have had the need the DSP has always responded in record time. I would much rather pay for DSP in Sussex than have Reed for free, I would not and do not want someone like Reed or his people anywhere near me or my family. The only reason this guy went after this job is becuase no one would consider him for the Georgetown Chief of Police. The people of Sussex County had better wake up and vote this guy out during the next election before it's too late. The traditional duties of the Sheriff's Office aren't enough to satisfy Reed's ego. The poor misguided transplants along the coast are not really sure what the are trying to do here, but what's new.

By NOT REED on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 08:12 am:

ONCE AGAIN SHERIFF REED HAS SHOWN HIS CONTEMPT FOR OUR LEGAL SYSTEM. ONCE AGAIN HE HAS PUT EMERGENCY LIGHTS ON ONE THE SHERIFF'S CARS COMPLETLY IGNORING THE INSTRUCTIONS OF A HIGHER AUTHORITY. THEN HE BLAMES THE PRESS FOR REPORTING HIS BRAZEN ACT. WAKE UP SUSSEX COUNTY!! IF WE DO NEED A SHERIFFS PATROL (?) IT CERTAINLY ISN'T REED.

By The Truth on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 08:50 pm:

You guys are nuts for wanting a sheriffs dept. Start a whole new police dept, ummm there is a couple of million dollars per year of the taxpayers money. Think about all you so called police adminstrators who much it takes to acutally create and sustain a full time sheriffs dept. Did you ever think to conduct a cost assessment? Go live in New Castle county and find out how much the property tax and local taxes are because of big county government. Go ahead ruin your county Its already corrupt with poor police officers and politicians.

By town officer on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 05:06 am:

A sad thing to do is accused Sussex county police officers and politicians as being crooks. THE TRUTH The fact of the matter is the people are not being taken care of in sussex. I know I am one of those small town municpal police officers. I have answered numerous calls for the DSP prior to there arrival or not arriving at all. From domestics to traffic accidents. Some should get the real numbers of troopers are on the road on a night shift weekend or weekday. Found out what the DSP patrol sector is and see how big that sector is with one car. The numbers dont lie. A change is needed. But what happens to the muncipal departments?

By Sussex Cop on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 07:28 pm:

NOT REED,

I qoute your post: "OH BY THE WAY OFFICER - I WAS "ON THE JOB" WHEN YOU WERE PROBALY IN DIAPERS AND THERE WASN'T ANYBACK UP AVAILABLE."

I'm pretty sure your post is directed at me, so your obvious ignorance causes me to respond on behalf of EVERY cop out here ...

I've been in law enforcement since 1986 and a police officer in Delaware for 12 years. So, your statement about my long lost diapers is a most unintelligent stab in the dark.

Your comment about backup only shows how ignorant you are about current police tactics, technology, civil liability and policies. If you were "on the job" without backup as you allege, then you already know you could not perform your job effectively alone. Having more cops on the street not only makes it safer for cops, but it also provides for better response and service to taxpaying citizens.

Several years ago, DSP was responsible for failing to provide police services when a domestic in Milton ended up in a murder. A nearby Milton police officer was not dispatched by DSP and the resulting prolonged wait for a tropper resulted in a homocide. If you don't know about the incident, ask around or check archived news articles. There have been no major improvements is DSP policies or 911 dispatch services since that time.

On a related note, I am not only a police officer, but I'm a tax-paying citizen that does not get effective or efficient service from the Delaware State Police. I live in an area that falls under DSP jurisdiction. The only time I have seen a DSP cruiser on my street is when they have been called. That is, after a half hour or more of waiting for them to arrive. I, along with every other municipal officer in Sussex, routinely respond to handle DSP incidents because they are not available or nearby.

You didn't happen to work for DSP, now, did you? I kinda get that feeling that you did/do. It seems that the MOST resistence ANY police agency in Delaware gets comes from DSP. The mere fact that they could lose control of some part of their jurisdiction historically causes controversy. It usually ends up with DSP in the corner agonizing in the fetal position, so to speak. Look at New Castle County PD, for instance. They are the primary law enforcement agency in the county, which had (has) DSP upset. DSP lost "control" of a very large portion of their juridictional role and authority. It will happen elsewhere, probably in Sussex before Kent.
It's only a matter of the voting public to decide whether they want better police services.

The truth is that the majority of municipal police officers in Delaware are much better trained and experienced than our trooper comrades. Municipals work their major cases from the ground up, from original report, to crime scene investigation, follow up, arrests and prosecution. DSP personnel turn their major cases over to the detectives. Municipals also receive more lengthy and quality training. DSP personnel are usually bound to the same old short in-service DSP Academy classes that are given year after year. Every officer in my agency normally attends 40 to 80 hours of in-service training annually. That's in addition to attending colleges and universities for advanced degrees. DSP personnel are no longer required to have an A.A. degree and only receive internal CEU credits (continuing education) for attending the Academy in-service classes.

As I have always said, DSP troopers are not much more than secretaries on wheels, running from one domestic, to a residential alarm, then back to the same domestic the next day. There are plenty of intelligent, hard working troopers on the road. I only wish more of them would go on to bigger and better departments and make something of themselves ... have more solid career opportunities and better benefits.
--------------------------------------------------

THE TRUTH,

I confront ignorance within your post as well:

"Start a whole new police dept, ummm there is a couple of million dollars per year of the taxpayers money."

Any intelligent person realizes that it costs money to have ANY type of public services. Police, fire-rescue, EMS, trash, water/sewer, etc.
If you want it, you're going to pay for it. However, because the Sussex COunty Sheriff's Office is an EXISTING agency, funding will be less that it would be to CREATE a new agency. The main expenses are going to cover staffing and equipment. Grant funding can cover a bulk of both of those budgetary line items. The state and federal governments have so many grants for police departments that it's almost silly. Because of grant funding, it only costs my town A THIRD of what it would normally cost to staff and equip our 24 hour police department. And that's with a small budget of only $280,000+.
The same administration and budgeting can be applied to the county Sheriff's Office as well. Federal COPS funding can supplement the cost of additional personnel.

You also said:

"Go ahead ruin your county Its already corrupt with poor police officers and politicians."

One of two possibilities here .. you either live in Fenwick Island or you have been arrested before. Maybe both. You sound like the typical drunk prisoner blaming evyone else for his own actions. Maybe it's your own failure to react that has caused you to allow corrupt politicians to exist. Not voting or failing to take legal action against corrupt politicians is your own fault (and the fault of the community in which you live). As for corrupt poor cops, in my 12 years in Sussex County law enforcement (not including seasonal experience), the two corrupt cops I've known about were both arrested and prosecuted. Now, there are one or two that have been in the media lately in the southeast part of the county, but that issue has not been resolved by any means. poor cops? Not anymore, unless they work in really small departments along the 113 or 13 corridor. The resort area agencies are paying more standardized and cost-fo-living comparable salaries. I agree that overall pay could be much better, but some of the small, inexperienced town administrators don't want to pay for services. So they don't get them.
--------------------------------------------------

TOWN OFFICER,

"A change is needed. But what happens to the muncipal departments?"

A change is forthcoming, but hopefully sooner than later.

Most municipal PD's will remain unchanged and unaffected by a county police agency. Many will lose officers to the county department and others will disband and choose county police services. in any case, it would be a chance for officers to seize great opportunities. A larger, county department would offer specialized unit experience, supervisory positions and (most likely) better benefits.

Let's not forget that we are doing the job that most people are afraid to do. The same thankless job that those in fear don't wish to compensate us for doing. The job that surrounds us with clear and present danger at all times. The job which may call us to lay down our lives to protect those who won't.
--------------------------------------------------

We may not need a newly created county police department, but we certainly need more cops on the streets in Sussex. The benefit we have is the existing Sheriff's Office which can be expanded for less cost than creating a new county police department. I overheard a Mayor of one local beach town the other day. "This is not the Quiet Resorts anymore. I keep telling people that."
That's one politician taking steps in the right direction.

By newsboy on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 09:48 pm:

Let me begin by saying that I am supportive of all our police officers out there. I do however believe that our municipal police do not receive their due credit. Municipal police are trained just as well as DSP. I am also tired of this good ol boy mentality around here that DSP are "The Police". Its time for change. As an unprotected taxpayer in Sussex Co. and by that I mean I live in DSP territory and not with in a municipality, I generally feel unsafe. There are not enough Troopers in Southern Sussex and it makes me feel vulnerable. The Sussex Co. Council keeps wasting my money on additional Troopers which end up eventually being transfered away to a special units leaving a void. Please spend my money wisely on expanding the Sheriffs Dept., restoring all their police powers and let them patrol our streets. They will not be transfered away. When they are hired for Sussex, they will stay in Sussex. State police should patrol all the main roads and the State in general and serve as a back up for the Sussex Co. Sheriffs and Muncipalities. This would work and be a wise investment. The population is rapidly growing and so will crime. Lets start building a Sussex Co. Sheriffs Dept. now, before we have to have too many victims of serious crimes.

By NOT REED on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 01:53 pm:

HEY THERE SUSSEX COP. IS EVERYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU IGNORANT? WHAT ARE YOU A FRUSTRATED LOCAL OFFICER WHO IS SUFFERING FROM SMALL TOWN PATROL SYMPTOM? WHERE DO YOU GET THAT DSP HATERED FROM? ARE YOU AN ANGRY LOCAL COP WHO IS FRUSTRATED BY NO ACTION AND IS BORED ON THE MID NIGHT SHIFT? SINCE YOU CALLED ME IGNORANT AND A MEMBER OF THE DSP LET ME SET YOU STRAIGHT. I HAVE A BA IN CJ. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS? IT WASN'T DSP IT WAS NJSP AFTER A SHORT STINT ON A LOCAL FORCE. I'M WILLING TO BET YOU CAN'T GET ON EITHER OF THOSE OUTFITS. STOP THE BS ON THE FORUM
BECAUSE MOST LOCAL POLICE HAVE DETECTIVES TO TOT A MAJOR CRIME TO. PATROL POLICE ARE INITIAL RESPONSE, AID THE VICTIMS, SECURE THE SCENE AND RETURN TO PATROL. I KNOW OF NO LOCAL SUSSEX COUNTY POLICE FORCE THAT CAN HANDLE A HOMICIDE. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT HOMICIDES ARE GIVEN OVER TO DSP IN THIS COUNTY.

WHY DON'T YOU WALK UP TO A STATE TROOPER AND CALL HIM/HER A "SECRETARY ON WHEELS." OR ARE THEY IGNORANT ALSO? I KNOW LOTS OF DSP AND LOCAL COPS AND NOT ONE OF THEM HAS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS THEIR BROTHERS IN BLUE LIKE YOU. I QUESS THEY'RE IGNORANT TOO.

DSP MADE MADE A VERY BAD MISTAKE IN THE MILTON DOMESTIC PROBLEM. BUT POLICE ALL OVER MAKE MISTAKES. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF RODNEY KING?

FOR A LOCAL COP YOU HAVE A BAD ATTITUDE AND THAT IS IGNORANT. SO IN CLOSING I'LL STATE THAT I DON'T HAVE A REAL PROBLEM WITH A SUSSEX COUNTY POLICE FORCE BUT I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH REED BEING THE TOP COP AND YOU BEING PART OF IT.

By gumshoe on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 08:32 pm:

Dear Mr. not Reed, I don't see Sussex Cop as hating DSP, I see him as being frustrated with not enough protection in Sussex Co. and the Sussex Co. Council being puppeted by DSP to waste our tax dollars on five to eight more troopers on the street over a three year period. That is not going to cut it around here. It is also true that short of a homicide, the municipal officers do the entire investigation from the initial investigation to the final arrest. I believe that this does give the town officer more experience than troopers. That is not a put down to our troopers, that is just the way it is.
Mr. not Reed, please don't throw college and degrees in the mix. If a person is of average intelligence, has a lot of common sense, can operate under the letter and spirit of the law, and can treat all people fairly, that is really all it takes. I have seen officers with a high school diplomas out police, officers with BA s. Please don't take that wrong either. I am for a college education, but it doesn't make a person a better cop.
I hope we all can be in agreement that Sussex Co. needs a county police/sheriffs department.
I will say this about Reed, he is not a politician. I think that is a good thing. That means that he will not be in someone's back pocket.

By NOT REED on Sunday, March 02, 2003 - 10:24 am:

HEY GUMSHOE PLEASE READ SUSSEX COPS POST OF 12/31/02 11:37PM UNDER POLICE PROPOSAL FROM SHERIFF, SENATOR. HIS RESPONSE TO ME WAS THAT I WAS IGNORANT AND SHOULD "GET THAT DEGREE." I WHOLE HEARTLY AGREE THAT DEGREED COPS AREN'T ALWAYS THE BEST COPS BUT IF YOU WILL READ THE ABOVE REFERANCED POST YOU WILL SEE I DIDN'T OPEN THAT CAN OF WORMS. SUSSEX COP DID. REED HAS TOLD ME THAT HE WILL FUND THE DEPARTMENT WITH TRAFFIC TICKET REVENUE. TALK ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW? THIS LEAVES NO DISCRESTION TO THE OFFICER BECAUSE HE MUST WRITE TICKETS OR HE WON'T EAT THE NEXT YEAR. WHY DON'T WE JUST PUT THEM ON A COMMISSION? REED MUST GET INTO MY "BACK POCKET" AND YOURS TO FUND HIS DEPARTMENT. ONCE AGAIN, I REALLY DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A PROPERLY FUNDED COUNTY PD BUT NOT WITH REED AS THE TOP COP.

By gumshoe on Sunday, March 02, 2003 - 12:27 pm:

Dear not Reed, Unfortunately in the State of Delaware that's how revenue for towns and the state is gained. I for one am not for this and that is another piece that needs to change in this state. I don't believe in quotas because our citizens could get get hammered with chump charges unless the officer is acting in the spirit of the law. Sussex Cop is correct, that if the towns don't get the funding through tickets, pressure drips backs down to the road officer. Is it fair? Absolutely not! Is it a reality in this state? Absolutely yes! Until that changes, DSP, County Police and Municipalities alike, in reality will have to use this as a means for funding. As a result, a couple of years ago DSP came out and ruled that all municipalities had to have their permission to run radar on the state highways that run through their towns, especially Rte 1. Why? Cutting in the funding pie. This knocked Milford right out of the loop. I have seen the difference in the number of speeders on Rte 1 since. Drivers pass me now going about 70 mph on Rte 1. Reed would just using the system that is in play for all for funding. Does it need to change? Absolutely!

By gumshoe on Sunday, March 02, 2003 - 01:28 pm:

Gumshoe continued: Answer? Taxes, the necessary evil. As you especially know, not Reed, taxes should be the funding for all. You especially, being from NJ should know this. I've heard horror stories about your taxes. The trouble is, nothing is for free. Sussex Countians are just going to have to pay higher taxes for better police protection. County taxes are going to have to go to a county police force, NOT DSP!!! Fines from tickets should be recycled back into law enforcement agencies and redistributed fairly among the agencies. Why should my state taxes go to fund DSP and my county taxes go to fund DSP, when I am already funding them with my state taxes? My belief is, that a number of the county council members are from around here and just don't have the experience to handle the sudden growth, for roads or protection. We need more council members from other places that have delt with this problem before. Unfortunatly, the local citizenry are voting for the people that they grew up with. I understand this way of thinking, but they must understand that these same people are not preparing for the sudden growth, which must slow down until roads, schools and protection can catch up.

By Observationist on Sunday, March 02, 2003 - 05:29 pm:

NOT REED:

I sense that the have a personal grudge with Sheriff Reed. While you most likely didn't vote him into office, the majority of voting citizens in Sussex county did.

I for one wholeheartedly support Sheriff Reed and his efforts. I don't see him as a power hungry individual, I see him as a dedicated person who is only seeking what he is granted by the Delaware Constitution and Common Law. The citizens (by a majority) seem to want more than just DSP patrolling their county. If the Sheriff's Department is self sufficient then great, it won't mean more tax hikes. If it means that the Sheriff must make revenue with tickets...well, don't break the law and you won't have to worry about the money coming from your pocket.

I would much rather be serviced by a county Sheriff than a state(or even municipal) police agency, because I have a say in who runs it, and if I don't like the person in charge, I can vote them out. A Chief of Police or a state police Superintendent is appointed, and because of that, I have no say in whether he stays or goes.

The county is paying millions to the State for more troopers, because citizens want more police presence. Why not invest that money into the county, where the money came from to begin with. Take that money and give the Sheriff's Office (not any one particualr sheriff) the equipment, the people, and most importantly, the rightful power, to police the county and serve the citizens.

After all, you are still paying the same, whether it's county or state policing. So why not keep your money local and get local service from an agency that you-not the rest of Delaware-controls.

By NOT REED on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 08:02 am:

OBSERVATIONIST - NO ITS NOT A PERESONAL GRUDGE. LOOK AT THE FACTS. ONCE AGAIN HE PUTS THE LIGHTS BACK ON THE SHERIFF'S CAR AFTER HE WAS MADE TO TAKE THEM OFF. HIS MEN WERE MAKING MV STOPS WHEN THEY HAD NO AUTHORITY TO DO SO. HE SAYS HE DOESN'T ANSWER TO THE COUNTY MANAGER BECAUSE HE'S AN ELECTION OFFICAL. WHO DOES HE ANSWER TO? THE PEOPLE EVERY FOUR YEARS? THAT'S A LOT OF TIME FOR HIM AND HIS MEN TO BE PULLING OVER CARS WITH NO AUTHORITY. I AM A STAUNCH MEMBER OF THE GOP AND WOULDN'T ELECT HIM DOG CATCHER BECAUSE HE PROBALY ABUSE THAT OFFICE ALSO. I THINK YOUR STATS ARE WRONG ABOUT THE MAJORITY OF THE CITIZEN'S VOTING HIM BACK IN OFFICE BUT I WILL CHECK ON THAT. I DIDN'T VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CANIDATE BUT I KNEW HE WASN'T GOING TO WIN. HAD THE DEMOCRATS PUT UP A QUALITY CANDIDATE THE ELECTION MIGHT HAVE GONE THE OTHER WAY. IN CLOSING I WILL STATE MY POSITION ONCE AGAIN - I REALLY DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A PROPERLY FUNDED COUNTY PD JUST NOT WITH REED AS THE TOP COP. LOOK REAL HARD AT THIS GUY. TALK TO GEORGETOWN PD. I ASSURE YOU THAT WE DON'T NEED HIM WITH THAT KIND OF AUTHORITY.

By town officer on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 06:31 am:

Sussex County Cop:

Thank you for your advise. I hope it happens soon. I would be jumping ship first. I have met several outstanding muncipal officers and it would be a pleasure to work with them under a county police department.

By Sussex Cop on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 03:48 am:

NOT REED,

I'll try to answer your failed desperate attempts at belittling me, and other local police officers, as best as I can ...

Certainly everyone has a right to their opinion. Just because I disagree with someone doesn't make them ignorant. The ignorance reflects in the tone and content of your post. You posted "OH BY THE WAY OFFICER - I WAS "ON THE JOB" WHEN YOU WERE PROBALY IN DIAPERS AND THERE WASN'T ANYBACK UP AVAILABLE". That clearly shows your lack of respect for (as you say) brothers in blue, and your lack of understanding of modern policing tactics and technology, especially in Delaware.

"WHAT ARE YOU A FRUSTRATED LOCAL OFFICER WHO IS SUFFERING FROM SMALL TOWN PATROL SYMPTOM?"

I was born and raised in the Nation's Capital. I moved here to work to get away from being TOO busy. I have law enforcement experience there as well. As for on the job here, I stay plenty busy year round, as does every other local department. I'm certainly not a frustrated state trooper either.

"WHERE DO YOU GET THAT DSP HATERED FROM?"

I have no hatred for DSP. You only conjured that up from your misinterpretations or twisting of my posts. I have always stated that DSP is full of good cops. It's the DSP admininstration and politics that's the problem.

"ARE YOU AN ANGRY LOCAL COP WHO IS FRUSTRATED BY NO ACTION AND IS BORED ON THE MID NIGHT SHIFT?"

You are obviously unaware of the day-to-day operations of Sussex County PD's and the crimes that occur here. Local officers in Sussex County have the advantage of time and resources on their side. An advantage that DSP does not ... they are understaffed and spend their time riding from one complaint to another, without spending ample time being proactive or investigating crimes. Why? Beacuse they're pushed by supervisors or dispatch to clear the scene as fast as they can; because the admin has the wrong priorities, such as placing more weight on traffic and DUI enforcement than criminal investigations, arrests and inter-departmental relations. During my 12 hour shifts, I enjoy being extremely proactive, making arrests, impounding vehicles, writing reports, patrolling and working CLOSELY with other agencies. I also enjoy having my own laptop computer, my own desktop computer, my own desk to put it on, and everything else my PD gives me to do my job efficiently and correctly. It's unfortunate, but DSP troopers don't have those luxuries.

"I HAVE A BA IN CJ. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS?"

I'm glad you have pursued a college education, just as I have done. Many PD's in Sussex now require at least an A.A. degree or mandate continuing education. Mandating higher education for police officers was unheard of here in the last decade. Only in recent years has the issue been widely addressed. Again, DSP has lessened their educational requirements for employment while other agencies increase their standards. Is that a step in the right direction from their administration?

"I'M WILLING TO BET YOU CAN'T GET ON EITHER OF THOSE OUTFITS."

I'm not impressed with either DSP or the NJSP. Matter of fact, I don't know of any local cops in this region that are impressed with DSP. I've turned down jobs with agencies three or four times the size of DSP or NJSP just to keep working in a small department; one where I'm well-trained, well-equipped and have my education paid for. You couldn't pay me enough money to work for either DSP, NJSP or any other state police agency. I don't want to be the highway patrol; I like doing police work. Moreover, It's not the troopers on the road that are the problem. It's the poor administration that needs to be restructured as well as SOP's evaluated and amended.

"I KNOW OF NO LOCAL SUSSEX COUNTY POLICE FORCE THAT CAN HANDLE A HOMICIDE. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT HOMICIDES ARE GIVEN OVER TO DSP IN THIS COUNTY."

I believe Seaford PD and Milford PD investigate their own major crimes. Rehoboth Beach PD and Georgetown PD also have detective units. Only smaller departments that don't have personnel resources T.O.T. major crimes to DSP. If I'm wrong or there's more info out there, someone correct me or add to it please ...

"WHY DON'T YOU WALK UP TO A STATE TROOPER AND CALL HIM/HER A "SECRETARY ON WHEELS."

I have and they've laughed or smiled. They understand that it's a joke and a sad reminder of how busy they can be. In any case, I always make it a point to acknowledge how every road trooper suffers without sufficient backup and general troop staffing. I have never had one disagree.

"I KNOW LOTS OF DSP AND LOCAL COPS AND NOT ONE OF THEM HAS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS THEIR BROTHERS IN BLUE LIKE YOU."

I'm not sure what "attitude" it is you're speaking of, but as you can see on this forum, plenty of local officers share similar feelings.


" ... I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH REED BEING THE TOP COP AND YOU BEING PART OF IT."

Sheriff Reed, by definition, is not the "top cop" right now. That might change if the legal definitions are amended under Delaware law. However, he is working towards progress that is being met with political walls. Part of those walls were built by DSP lobbying against county police. As for me being part of it, I look forward to knocking on your door and handling a report for a retired out-of-state trooper. If I do, I'll be more than happy to go over my modern equipment, tactics and SOP's with you.

"REED HAS TOLD ME THAT HE WILL FUND THE DEPARTMENT WITH TRAFFIC TICKET REVENUE. TALK ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW? THIS LEAVES NO DISCRESTION TO THE OFFICER BECAUSE HE MUST WRITE TICKETS OR HE WON'T EAT THE NEXT YEAR."

That is exactly how all of the local Delaware PD's are funded in part. Revenue generated from traffic, parking and local code enforcement. It most certainly does cause corruption in some local governments, and in turn is directed upon the police departments. In any case, a lot of these cops out here, including myself, suffer under some kind of loophole quota used for departmental evaluations. If you've never worked in this type of environment, count your blessings.

You seem to be so blinded by the "big hat" syndrome that you can't see the point. It's not about Reed ... it's about expanding an EXISTING law enforcement agency ... expansion in order to provide the population (taxpaying citizens, including yourself) with increased police services. No matter WHO is the elected (or appointed) Sheriff (or Chief of Police), HE/SHE will be overseeing such an agency if it's created ... it doesn't have to be Sheriff Reed. However, Reed has been the first law enforcement official to point the county in the right direction.

By NOT REED on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 06:43 am:

Hey there Sussex Cop it was you who started the "ignorant" bashing. I just called you to task on it. Seems to me that you've toned down a little. You should try conversing not attacking someone who has a differance of opinion. It was such a pleasure reading the recent posts from the South Bethany Police Officer. There is a PO who can express himself without trying to impress himself. Please read his postings. I feel you could benefit from it. I find it hard to accept that Reed won"t want to be the top Sussex cop and that's where I have the problem. Remember "Not Reed" Any LEO who can't or won't accept an order from a higher authority (RE the red lights X2) should NOT have that position. If you are ordered not to perform a certain act an you ignore that order. I would assume you would have to turn in your shield and service weapon for a little time off. They had to revoke the MV registrations to get him to take the red lights off the PEOPLE'S sheriff cars. Recently he puts one set back on again and blames the press for leaking it. Whoa!!! If you don't have a problem with that activity I do. Sure we need more police. Be they state, local or whatever but not Reed. He's badge heavy to say the least. Once again you have made another assumption - I've only been retired for two years so you'll have to wait a little while to show me new SOP, tactics etc. Thirty years ago it was a six inch 38 revolver, no pepper spray nor a whole lot of everything else we have today. Thank God our men and women in blue are better eguipped today. So my Brother I will leave you with those thoughts. Cool your jets a little and be safe out there!

By Sussex Cop on Sunday, March 09, 2003 - 06:20 pm:

Not Reed,

It is difficult discussing issues that have pressed on local officers here for MANY years without resolve. It is also hard to get other people (cops included) to recognize and understand the reality of Sussex County Police World (Disney World was already taken). The majority of Sussex residents only know what they read in the local media and through political lobbies. As for the South Bethany PIO, he is a close friend of mine, and I enjoy reading his posts as well. I agree with everything he says.

As for Sheriff Reed refusing to comply with an order, that order came from politicians and not from a higher, knowledgable law enforcement authority. I would personally have a problem obeying what I believed to be an unlawful order. More than likely, I would not follow it either. That whole issue is full or bad politics and completely devoid of professionalism from both the county and state officials. That's my OPINION.

Well, I'm glad you've only been collecting your pension for a short time. That leaves plenty of time to take a big break from the job we all truly love. As for the wheel gun and no pepper spray, my first piece was a 357. All I carried back was my gun in a poor retention holster, twelve extra rounds, cuffs and a baton. Hell, every cop in my PD shared two portable radios and one flashlight (unless you bought your own). So I can relate. I am certainly glad to benefit from all the current technology, equipment and training we have today.

Although we agree to disagree on some things, I wish you well and a long retirement.

By NOT REED on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 07:51 am:

SUSSEX COP - 10 4

By NOT REED on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 03:41 pm:

DID ANYBODY READ THE POLL TAKEN BY THE CAPE GAZETTE? SEEMS THE MAJORITY IS AGAINST EXPANDING THE SHERIFF'S DUTIES.

By gumshoe on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 05:00 pm:

Personally, I do not trust polls. It depends on who is taking them and their own biases. I could take the same poll and obtain the opposite results.

By Sussex Cop on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 08:48 pm:

I missed the poll. What exactly was the poll question?

By gumshoe on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 09:28 pm:

Read, NOT REED for 03-16-03.

By Sussex Cop on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 11:48 pm:

Not Reed,

Fenwick Island will be hiring a new Chief of Police soon. How about coming out of retirement and bringing some Jersey justice to the beach?

Stay safe.

By NOT REED on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 01:06 pm:

SUSSEX COP - NO THANK YOU BROTHER. I HAVE LOCKED HORNS WITH TOO MANY POLITICANS.

By Sussex Cop on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 08:58 pm:

Oh well, it was worth a shot! ha!


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