From Jeffrey R. Gahler:
Sheriff Bane’s recent effort to test the will of those he is sworn to protect brings me great concern. I have been asked numerous times to declare my position on Sheriff Bane’s proposal to bring speed cameras to Harford County. It appears, based on Sheriff Bane’s method of presenting the concept to the residents of Harford County, that he has already set the course for full implementation of speed cameras and what he is doing is “testing the water” and “softening” the constituency to see how his plan will be received. Having repeatedly demonstrated Sheriff Bane’s willingness to misrepresent facts and statistics to the public, I am unwilling to accept the Sheriff’s claim that the revenue generated by a speed camera program has nothing to do with his decision for implementation. Speed camera programs and the enhanced revenue they generate have been exploited for political and financial gain throughout Maryland and no reason has been offered by Sheriff Bane to cause me to believe differently of his program.
It is my position that traffic enforcement is an important part of any public safety program. It was a cornerstone of my campaign in 2010 and will remain a priority in 2014. I am also an advocate for any reliable new technology that can aide in the effort to create a safe environment for our friends and family, however, today’s speed camera systems are not the answer.
Delegates McComas, Delegate McDonough, and Delegate Glass (and others) realized the deficiencies in motivation and speed camera technology early. These elected officials sponsored House Bill 1044 during the 2012 legislative session to attempt corrective action regarding the statewide speed camera statutes. Unfortunately, the bill was met with strong opposition from larger jurisdictions and was not presented to Governor O’Malley for signature. Testimony in opposition of the bill stated the opposition was driven, at least in part, by the reduction in speed camera revenues.
For those interested in reading the entire Bill, it can be found here.
The benefits of targeting problematic violations, or those identified through analysis as being the primary or secondary cause of dangerous or deadly crashes, is a sound practice when done to educate and correct improper behavior. The place, day and time of occurrence are also keys to a successful program as is the involvement of a sworn law enforcement officer. I am curious to hear where Sheriff Bane plans to deploy the cameras and what data he will use to support the placement.
The Sheriff has preached data driven tactics and consistently advises citizens that he uses data to reduce traffic related incidents; however, he admitted recently, as stated in the Baltimore Sun, that our County “ranks as the fifth most dangerous jurisdiction when it comes to highway fatalities, which this year already exceed the number of deaths in 2011.” The Sheriff went on to say “Traditionally we have spent more resources in fighting crime and not as much on traffic concerns.” As the Sheriff is quick to offer data showing that the County has ridden the national wave of reduced crime rates, I pause and question why, with his data, the Sheriff is not able to ride the national wave of reduced crashes and traffic fatalities.
It is important to foster a safe environment surrounding our educational campuses. I do not believe there is any opposition to this concept; however, if sound data proving a dangerous environment exists around schools, as the Sheriff has eluded by proposing speed cameras to address safety concerns, why have we not heard that the Traffic Task Force “comprised of state, county as well as municipal police departments” formed in 2011 “to target specific areas in the county where traffic problems occur” has been deployed to aggressively work those roads surrounding our educational campuses to immediately create a safe environment for our kids and educators. Will the safety of our students wait for Sheriff Bane’s speed camera contract or if there is currently safety issues surrounding our educational campuses will they be addressed right now?
Jeffrey R. Gahler
2014 Republican Candidate for Sheriff
Jesse never has had an active interest in promoting traffic safety during his entire career. Ask him how many citations he wrote during his career. His handling of the first redlight camera’s here was a joke.
what what says
Is my reading of this correct? Does Gahler support speed cameras?
The letter says speed cameras are not the answer in his opinion. Pretty clear that he is against them. These cameras are nothing but money makers and you can bet that is all Harford County wants, more of our money! Welcome to the new P.G. County.
John Eager Howard says
This is the closest thing I have seen from Gahler that resembles a true issue. Why does Bane care about bringing in more revenue? That is the MSP’s job.
Dan Thompson says
These speed camera systems are a clearly a revenue only program. They have been shown to be 90%-95% reliable. What does Jesse Bane care so long as 100% are paying the bill for his spending!
If speed cameras are installed I’m going to deprive the county of all possible windfall profits by going the speed limit.
Try and stop me…..
Dan Thompson says
Good luck. A silly thing like the driving the speed limit didn’t stop a parked car from getting a speed ticket in Baltimore not too long ago. Of course, taking a day off of work to defend yourself against the camera is no big deal for most of us.
It’s only a matter of time until they get the speed cameras. The politicians know it’s an easy way to squeeze a few hundred thousand dollars a year out of the common people. They also know that, enraged though you may be at the moment, you’ll keep re-electing the same bunch election after election. It would be nice if we voters could get together and only vote for candidates who oppose this idea, but even if we did, as soon as the votes were counted they’d put the cameras in, knowing most people would forget before the next election.
Marc Eaton says
We were working on the red light camera program when I retired in 2002. Major Bane was in charge of this project. Meetings were unorganized and a lot of arguing over the law. As far as I know this project went no where. The written law had to be given to Jesse Bane at one such meeting because he was so far off in what he was saying. This will fall between the cracks as well and Jesse can continue to explore his aviation unit.
Red light cameras and speed cameras are about revenue. Look at the problems in Baltimore City and ask yourself if you trust the system?
Stop spouting misleading information to get other people upset. If the aviation unit happens it will be mostly funded by grants AND it was brought up not by Bane but by a deputy who researched it for the last few years. You love to spread the hate on the current sheriff and downplay anything that occurrs while he has been sheriff, we get it you don’t like him, stop using the claim of your former deputy life as the reason your words are more meaningful because they aren’t. Your just hot air.
Unhappy Taxpayer says
What does mostly funded mean? Taxpayers already must pay a portion of the tag fee each year for every vehicle they own for the State’s Helicopter Program and of course the grants you mention are also the result of taxes. Can you please post the research to let us all know how much another helicopter program would really cost?
Marc Eaton says
Nothing misleading, no hate….just speaking facts. Grants get this and other programs up and running and then the County has to come up with the money to continue. Aviation unit really? The jail is under staffed and Bane is spending time on speed cameras and wanting to buy a helicopter. Your just one more of Bane’s crew that feels the need to somehow make my statements less relevant. I worked for and with him, I think I know what I am talking about.
Actually the helicopters (there were multiple helicopters involved, though at least one was to be cannibalized for parts to maintain the others, if I remember the proposal correctly) and associated parts weren’t going to cost Harford County anything to acquire (of course the helicopters in question are 30-40 years old which is one reason they’re available for essentially nothing.) To actually maintain and operate them is a different story of course.
I voted against the proposal when it was put to the union vote (if the county can’t fund our steps and afford to properly staff the jail then we have no business trying to start an aviation unit), but the HCSO wasn’t going to be buying helicopters.
If I had worked someplace ten (10) years ago, and decided today to comment on how the place was run day to day having not worked there in ten years my opinion would be severly diluted. That is who you are, filled with hate nothing more nothing more.
@Unhappy Taxpayer–As far as grants go for any program, they are both state and federal and yes they come from taxes as does most funding for any public agency. Departements try to fully fund projects through grants because as others have pointed out no one likes to spend the money, until the service is needed. Understaffed and underpaid is the motto for most public agencies whether it be schools, department of public works, social services or law enforcement. Services that people want require funding but people dislike paying higher taxes. This has been the same issue since government began and I don’t think that it is going anyway anytime soon.
Has anyome been killed in a school zone in the past years in Harford Co?
Bright Oak says
This is the most important question here.
What’s to stop a slow moving school bus or distracted parent from running over a kid? Not a speed camera.
Every time Bane opens his mouth, he shows how very much out of touch he is. Where is the data to support even exploring speed cameras in school zones? When was the last time there was a serious injury or accident in an actual school zone? Mr. Gahler is right in his call for action now if there are existing problems, but we all know that is not the case. How much longer is Bane going to pretend he has a clue?
Republican voter says
Let us taxpayers remember what the previous Republican Sheriff said in his evaluation of the current Democratic Sheriff Bane; “he has no clue.” If this project has Bane’s fingerprints on it we are headed for a another one of his failed programs.
Edgewood Resident says
The previous Shreiff also said that the gangs in Harford County had a right to exist. So I put no faith in the previous Sheriff. Second, no one is asking Gahler his opinion on this, he just writes these letters every couple of weeks to The Dagger to try and keep his name relevent to the voting public. Nothing more, nothing less.
The “previous” Sheriff initiated the effort to combat the gang problem in Harford County and…Bane tries to take the credit. It was the “previous” Sheriff who planned for the new Southern Precinct and …Bane who tries to take the credit. On top of those issues, we have seen Mr. Gahler catch Bane in a series of outright lies to include taking credit for a Traffic Task Force that…yes, was someone else’s idea. The biggest thief in Harford County is Jesse Bane who has never heard a good idea that he didn’t try to make his own!
Happy New Year @Edgewood Resident. Second shooting this week and great start to the new year.
Edgewood Resident says
RealCop, apparantly you did not bother to read the article. The shooting was in Belcamp.
Route 40 Cuz says
Where did he say it had anything to do with Edgewood?
Aviation Unit? Feet on the street not working so he wants to take to the skies. We already pay for a helicopter. Heard it tonight.
Mary H says
The agency had a red light camera unit staffed with 4 civilians, even though there were no red light cameras in place. After years, the red light unit became the pawn unit and now there is no pawn unit. Marc is not exaggerating, he’s just telling it like it is.
Marks 8th Cousin In-Law says
Does anyone think that Sheriff Lionel J. Bane really cares? He responds to half of the issues brought to his attention and even when he responds he cant give a good explanation about what really happened. He promotes people through the ranks because of there race/sex. Im not talking promoting to the next rank im talking promoting and skipping a rank from Lt to major really????????????? How about you promote all deputies from DFC to Sgt. You know why you did it, and it has been a failure, do you really think anyone respects your hand picked failures for command staff. My question for Jeff Gahler is that many people who are are on Banes command staff were also a big part in the last administration. Who will you keep and when do you put politics aside and listen to the men/women who are out on the street every day busting there butt. I can send my wife to one campaign meeting and go myself to another but that is a joke. Its been going on for years, did you idiots forget where you came from????? Honey you go to Norm Cochran’s headquarters Im going to Bane’s. Your career or what your are remembered as hinges upon what you do in your career. I think people forget that, Cut the shenanigans! (by the way dagger whats up with the lack of the thumbs up/down, bring it back).
Mark’s 8th Cousin In Law. Troll troll troll. Anytime an issues arises regarding anything to do with HCSO we can expect you to skitter across the floor and feed on anything edible and leave your fecal material behind. Gahler is a politician that wants in… you and Marc are merely a pawns in his game. Your allegiance to the man is obvious, ridiculous and likely self serving. And your gaming of the thumbs up and thumbs down system exposed how easily you can suppress the views of people who disagree with you. Go back to voting on American Idol. Like most simple minds you actually believe that an appearance of popularity equates to actually being smart enough or right enough.
Marc Eaton says
Im sorry, I thought this was the place to voice your opinions. Like Obama is Bane off limits? Mom of three, seen Bane’s actions first hand. Caught him in lies. You can say what you want about me or others but it does not change what Bane is…..unethical. Your reasoning is if a person disagrees with Bane then they are in the camp of the person running against Bane. Please research and dispute anything me or anyone else has said about Bane. Simply accusing us of hateful speech will not work. No one has disputed any facts that Gahler has printed. I wonder why? It is hard to dispute facts, and Bane can not spin these facts when he is caught lying and misleading his accomplishments. If you are one of Bane’s crew then you know how to get in touch with me. You won’t because you are a coward like the others.
Gahler, go away. This county doesnt need you or your hate. Anyone that can spend this much time bad mouthing one person needs to get a life! I can promise you. If you were the only person running for office I wouldn’t even give you a thought.
@Momof3, Can you please be specific and cite any place where Mr. Gahler has been hateful toward Sheriff Bane? I have heard Mr. Gahler say on several occasions that he thinks Bane is a nice guy, just not an honest guy. You must be a true liberal to take a county-wide contemporary issue letter concerning public safety and try to turn it around to a “Poor Jesse, Gahler is picking on him”. Either way, you can bet the only person who is going away in 2014 is Bane.
I was going to sit this one out, but thanks to Momof3 (probably not) going away from the topic, I will give an inside perspective. How can you say Gahler is hateful when Bane is the most hateful person going! As a mom you should care about familys and that is more than Bane can manage. He has run havoc over the personal lives of so many without a care in the world about their wives and children, just about how much political support he gets. He promoted a black female lieutenant to the rank of major in front of every qualified captain, because he was pandering to the black vote. He passed over the top two candidates for lieutenant because of their political affiliations. Bane has put his chosen Baneites in comfy jobs and schedules, not because of tenure or qualifications, only politics. Everyone Bane passed over have familys that have been impacted by these unfair and HATEFUL moves by the guy you want to defend. Momof3, you are defending a guy who has trashed the HCSO and has no care of what family means. Maybe that is because he has never raised children or maybe it is just because he is a spiteful little man, but either way, he needs to be done.
Robin Hood says
@Momof3 – @Momof3 is probably some high ranking Depties Union, either past or present. Wouldn’t be surprised it it is Fred Visnaw, Donny Gividen or some other lap dog for Jesse Bane…. Or vice versa…..
Engineer by Day says
There is absolutely no evidence at all or any valid study for that matter that offers any solid evidence that speed cameras save lives or cut down on property damage. Absolutely none. I challange anyone to put that link on here. Actually, there are studies by the Texas Highway Institute that say if you lengthen yellow lights for an extra 1-2 seconds, it will cut down on red light accidents. Ahhhhhh, but in Md it is about the$$$$, so what did we do here? In most jursidictions with red light cameras, we shortened the yellow cycle by a 1/2 – 1 second so they can nab more people. These camera “rackets” are all about the money and nothing else. Thats why they are left on in school zones at 3:00 AM and in highway saftey zones like I-695/Charles Street for months when no one was even working on the 695 roadway. It took pressure from the the local State delegation to get the camera out of there. If you do some research, you will find that the only states that actualy use these revenue generators, are states that need the money because they can’t balance their books. You think I am kidding? Look up the top ten states for the worst ficsal responsibility and then look up the top ten states for camera revenue. What a coincidence!!! You want a really angry populace, you bring these theives into the county with their bogus money scams and you’ll have a really angry populace. I think the police do a good enough job of revenue enhancement on their own. We don’t need corrupt camera companies helping out.
Marc Eaton says
Very well said.
j johnson says
It takes an engineer to cut throught the BS
Engineer by Day says
Still waiting for someone in law enforcement to post that link that speed cameras make the roads safer. Tic, toc, tic, toc….causeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee……it’s all about the money! In the words of Rod Tidwell in Jerry MaGuire….Jerry, show me the money!
Or the words of Jesse Bane…Show me the money too!!
Marc Eaton says
Jesse is working on those fuzzy math stats, please stand by.
John Eager Howard says
I have been an observer on the Dagger for quite a while now. It always amazes me how Marc Eaton finds so much to criticise the current sheriff. He is then joined by Onpoint, Marc’s cousin, and others. Does Marc really believe that this isn’t an orchestrated campaign technique to get Gahler elected. Marc makes many innuendos and pretends to know all that happens in the HCSO. I wish he would stop the bs. He is entitled to his opinion, but his effort to defeat Bane are very transparent.
I am not Marc. I am an employee of the HCSO and Bane needs no help this time around. He has done enough to beat himself.
Marc Eaton says
Dear John, I live in Baltimore County so I can not vote. No innuendos, and I have my contacts within the department. Dispute anything I post please. Do you question the people who post in favor of Bane or just those of us who disagree with him? Thanks for saying I am entitled to my opinion. Im sure if it was in line with you it would not be bs.
What’s interesting here is that it is usally the city or county administration that wants speed cameras to raise money. I can’t remember the last time someone in law enforcement was pushing speed cameras to raise money. It makes no sense.
John Eager Howard says
Mr. Eaton, you live in Baltimore County? What does that have to do with my comments. I am not upset that you are against Bane, hence my statement about you having the right to your opinion. What upsets me is that I see your comments and are joined by the same cast of characters on every negative post about Bane. It is obvious that you are either all of the others, or you are campaigning. Go campaign somewhere else. That is why I am upset.
Marc Eaton says
No John, I think I will continue to do it hear when I have the chance. Again, dispute anything I have posted. I am here to see Bane not get another term, not involved in any campaign. Other then to see Bane go!
You support Bane? List his accomplishments, his not the ones that he takes credit for that other people have done.