The classic police Crown Victoria is dead. Long live the Chevy Caprice?
The trusty Ford steed of police departments nationwide for decades has been discontinued, and as that fleet of cars require replacement, the new vehicle roaming the roads of Harford County will be a Chevrolet Caprice.
Keeping those cars on the road, installing and managing their equipment, and replacing them with the Chevys are just a few of the tasks assigned to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Administrative Services Division. Captain Daniel Galbraith, the division’s commander, detailed its operations to the members of the Citizens Police Academy Tuesday night.
The behind-the-scenes work which keeps the agency on track includes more than just maintaining its 339 vehicles, including marked and unmarked patrol cars, boats, motorcycles, and speed-check trailers. The division—which Galbraith said is 95 percent staffed by civilian personnel—is also responsible for supplying deputies with everything from pistols to paperclips, and managing the tens of thousands of records they generate each year.
In 2011 alone, according to Galbraith, the division’s law enforcement records unit handled:
–15,503 police reports
–17, 932 traffic citations, among them more than 10,000 warnings
–3,890 criminal warrants
–6,144 adult arrests
–840 juvenile arrests
–1,588 gambling licenses
–1,624 domestic violence protection orders
–1,509 public information requests
–1,182 insurance requests
–6,128 pawn checks
The Sheriff’s Office training academy also falls under the auspices of the administrative division. Based at Harford Community College, the academy offers a 28-week program to new law enforcement hires, and a 10-week program for new corrections officers, as well as various in-service training programs.
Galbraith said the academy is organized along paramilitary lines, with a cadre of drill instructors who challenge the rookie officers.
“We yell at these deputies, put them under a tremendous amount of stress,” he said. “Because the first day out there, they could face the most stressful situation they’ve ever been in, and we want to see how they’re going to react.”
The academy operates the agency’s firing ranges in northern Harford County, which include two handgun ranges, a sniper’s range, and what Galbraith called a “state-of-the-art shoot house”—one of only two in the state—which allows students to progress through a realistic building while trainers critique their performance from catwalks above.
The division also contains the agency’s computer support unit, responsible for maintaining 294 desktop computers, 165 laptop computers, desk phones, cell phones, and the agency’s various computer networks; the electronic services unit, which services car-mounted equipment; and the property management unit, which controls and inventories property in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office.
“All of my units make the Sheriff’s Office run,” Galbraith said. “We do the behind-the-scenes stuff.”
–Tuesday’s Citizens Police Academy class also included a presentation by Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell. Worrell detailed some of the basic tenets of journalism and newsgathering, as well as the local media landscape.
Worrell also discussed the agency’s direct messaging tools. They include e-mail blasts (sign up available via www.harfordsheriff.org, the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, and a virtual map of incident reports available at www.crimereports.com.
Next Week: The Academy takes a tour of the Harford County Detention Center.