Candidates For Delmar Commissioner, Mayor, Introduce Their Police Funding Platform
DELMAR, Md. – 3 New candidates for Delmar Town Commissioners and Mayor are pushing for more officer pay and transparency with Delmar’s finances.
Ben Jorden, Cory Shaffer, and Jacob Booth have announced their candidacy for Delmar Maryland mayor, and town commissioners respectively.
They say the issue of payment for police and lack of communication between the city government and the residents has divided the community, a division they say needs to be healed with fresh faces in government, and more pay for police.
“It’s my belief and the other gentlemen I’m with that public safety is the foundation of a solid community,” Shafer said.
Shafer and Jorden believe that 4 months after the tragic death of Delmar PD Sgt. Keith Heacook, officers are still working long hours, and the town is still at risk at losing officers to turn-over.
“Right now we have officers literally working hours that would blow your mind that they should not be working,” Jorden said.
Shafer and Jorden told 47abc change needs to happen quickly for more officer pay before the town loses more officers and with them, nearly 100,000 worth of training paid for by the town.
“What that money will do is 1 help to retain the officers that are there that have already been certified and not have to wait 8 months to a year just for one officer,” Jorden said.
They say the town has already budgeted pay for 15 officers, 4 more than the 11 they have.
If elected they say they’ll take that money and use it to keep wages competitive in the department.
“The fact that the town of Delmar spent over 150,000 on lawyers fees to fight our local police department doesn’t make sense,” Jorden said.
Officer pay isn’t the only place they feel improvements must be made; they believe Delmar’s infrastructure needs an upgrade too, especially with more development coming in that will further strain it.
“We don’t even have an upgraded water treatment center that can handle that right now we have 20 to 30 terracotta pipes and there’s a lot of infrastructures that need to be updated,” Jorden said.
They believe those new developments coming to Delmar, deserve updated water treatment and electric facilities, and in turn, the developers can also be a part of the solution to Delmar’s budgetary constraints with paying officers.
“We’ve got a lot of development that’s happened in the last for years- we should have some type of a surplus in the form of impact fees,” Shaffer said.
They’d like to see those funds go toward signing bonuses, but they don’t know how the town has spent the money from previous impact fees.
They say they don’t want to have to file FOIA requests to see the numbers and say that they will be more forthcoming with payment information if they were to be in government.
“I want to see good transparency good communication coming out from everyone involved because that’s a solid factor of everyone in town understanding what’s going on,” Schaffer said.
In a statement to 47ABC, Jacob Boothe said he agreed with Jorden and Shaffer that with more people coming to Delmar as a result of the developers, the police must increase the number of officers to keep their town safe.
All 3 have been the first to file in their respective races, and if they have challengers to run against the primary will be held on September 28th, with the general election to follow on November 16th.