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Allegany County deputies Lodge 144 speak out on budget deficit

May 23rd, 2024 by WCBC Radio

Members of Lodge 144 Allegany County deputies want to make it clear that the fight to increase staffing at the Sheriff’s Office was not born of the recent announcement of the looming budget deficit. In a 3 page letter to Allegany County Board of Commissioners Lodge members making the need for additional deputies clear. Lodge 144 President, Christopher Hill says for reasons unclear, the Commissioners have declined to meet with F.O.P. leadership to discuss this critical situation, despite repeated requests.

Members of Lodge 144 request the public's support in the allocation of twelve (12) additional sworn deputies to be assigned to the uniformed patrol division. (6) Six to be authorized immediately, and (6) six in fiscal year 2025 as part of a larger commitment to increase staffing.

“It is unreasonable to cut a single frontline medical provider. It is however, NOT unreasonable for the Commissioner's to look to other areas that may be ripe for reduction staffing and/or consolidation of responsibilities.  Rather than focusing on the elimination of front line providers, perhaps reexamining the need for such as the large number of management staff within EMS is appropriate.

It is likewise unreasonable to fail to provide the additional deputies needed to offset the loss of the Lonaconing Police Department, The Luke Police Department, and The Westernport Police Department. Additionally, the City of Frostburg (though authorized for approximately 15 officers, or 2 per 1,000 residents) currently has a staffing shortage.

Please let the Commissioners know that properly staffing Deputies, and Frontline Medical Providers in Allegany County is not an option. It is the ONLY option“.