From Jeffrey R. Gahler:
On Thursday, July 26th, I had the distinct privilege of attending the Harford County Chamber of Commerce’s July Luncheon and an opportunity to listen to Sheriff Bane detail his term as Sheriff. Several details of his presentation were in direct opposition to my first-hand knowledge of past law enforcement efforts and accomplishments, and for the most part, can be summed up to the Sheriff failing to recognize those who initiated most of the efforts and initiatives he now claims as successes. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify some information presented.
Just a few short weeks ago, in a public letter; I outlined the Sheriff’s slow reaction to address the rate of fatal and serious injury accidents occurring in our county. I outlined how the incidence of devastating motor vehicle accidents was not a new phenomenon and had been an important part of my past campaign platform for Sheriff. In fact, this topic had been a key point as far back as 2008 and it was noted that the Sheriff failed to act until approached by the local State Police Commander who had proposed a traffic task force to address this growing, but consistent, threat to our community. During his Chamber of Commerce presentation (and likely repeated at this weekend’s Darlington Town Hall meeting), in front of a room full of community and business leaders, Sheriff Bane informed the gathering that the traffic task force grew from a local police chief’s meeting “in April of last year.” I am curious if this aspect of his presentation was meant to address my previous condemnation of his failure to act in a timely manner with those in attendance, but using false information to cover inaction is never advisable.
For reference, I have attached a Harford County Sheriff’s Office Memorandum that clearly shows the “Multi Jurisdictional Traffic Task Force” was proposed by the state police commander and shows that the proposal dates back to September of 2010. I assume Sheriff Bane does not want to admit the issue and need for action stems back to the last election (fall, 2010) because then he would also have to admit that it was not his own loudly touted processes that brought this issue to the forefront. Instead, it was his more experienced opponent followed by the local state police commander that recognized the need. Sadly, even if this April of 2011 claim was true, the question would still remain as to what has taken the Sheriff so long to address this real public safety issue? Detailed crash data has been available to the Sheriff from the Maryland State Highway Administration for his entire term in office. Why now is he presenting information that contradicts fact to describe his efforts?
As stated in my previous letter, the regrettable facts are that this is a very real issue that has always deserved a serious level of attention from our law enforcement leaders. Sheriff Bane was still nearly four years late in this realization and response. Clearly the recognition of this issue and the origin of the response was not as he claims or when he claims. I assume his motives for such a deceptive timeline and action are purely political in nature, but there is no place in law enforcement for variations of the truth, not now, not ever.
Jeffrey R. Gahler
2014 Republican Candidate for Sheriff