Wico. Co. Council makes progress with police accountability board, provides additional funding for new sheriffs office

SALISBURY, Md. – Tuesday night, the Wicomico County Council got the process moving forward on the creation of its police accountability review board.

A main focus of the meeting was eligibility requirements for board members, which includes active shooter training.

Council President John Cannon tells 47ABC he thinks the council is making a lot of progress and doing their best to take into account the voice of the public but says there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“A lot of times you have to make sure you try to get it right from the very beginning. There were concerns about the qualifications for a chair and etc.  I think we’ve come to a good compromise on what’s needed and I think it’s a good bill for the county,” Cannon said.

“Obviously there are still things that need to be addressed including compensation and some of the more in the weeds stuff. I think Wicomico County still has a unique opportunity to pass a good PAB,” ACLU of Maryland Eastern Shore Jared Schablein said.

Another topic of discussion included a proposed resolution for $7 million in additional funding for the construction of a new Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office. The project currently has a price tag of $33 million.

Sheriff Mike Lewis and the County Director of Finance discussed it with the council. Although no expansions to the project have been made since it was introduced two years ago, the cost of construction has gone up due to inflation which is why the extra funding will be needed.

After much discussion, the county passed the legislation which green light’s the groundwork to begin. “That allows them to start doing ordering and start getting their subcontractors working on the project,” Olden said. “We don’t have a specific date but this does allow us to start that process so we expect to be under construction sooner rather than later.”

The new sheriff’s office will be the headquarters for Wicomico County’s 91 sworn deputies.

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