Wicomico Co. Sheriff’s Office breaks ground on new public safety complex
WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. – Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is calling it a new day for his department. At the corner of Naylor Mill Road and Westwood Drive, ground was broken on a state of the art public safety complex. Work is expected to be complete in the next 18 to 24 months.
Shovels Hit The Dirt
“We need a good, solid battleship here in Wicomico County from which law enforcement can work, from which they can conduct their investigations, crime scene work, and to house the many vehicles we have that have to be under a roof, including our MRAP,” said Sheriff Lewis.
Shovels were driven in to the ground by Sheriff Lewis, members of his department, and local leaders. Sheriff Lewis says the new facility will stretch 58,000 square feet; quadrupling the size of their current 13,000 square foot building.
“We’ve had criminal investigators working out of other buildings, not even our current building, because we simply didn’t have room for these investigators. Now we’ll have room to bring all of our allied agencies in to work together in a cooperative spirit to address the crime here in Wicomico County,” said Sheriff Lewis.
It’s not just a larger size that the department is looking forward to. Sheriff Lewis says the current building has been plagued by HVAC and structural issues for years.
“We have many deficiencies with the heating and air unit in our building. We’ve had all kinds of problems where we’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars to get the climate control right,” said Sheriff Lewis. “We’ve had persistent water leaking through the ceiling, and recently spent about $70,000 to put a roof on the building.”
Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes says with those issues out of the way, the future of local law enforcement is only brighter. “There is enough space to hire on new officers when necessary, new deputies when necessary. Training can adequately happen in-house. That there are facilities for all those development tools, is huge,” she said.
Tashica Hilliard, the widow of Corporal Glenn Hilliard, who was killed in the line of duty in June, was also on hand for ceremony. Wearing a dog tag bearing his face, Hilliard helped usher in a new beginning for her late husband’s department. She says Cpl. Hilliard would have been thrilled to see the progress.
“Glenn was so excited about this project. He actually brought me past here a few months ago to show me the property where it was going to be. He was so excited. It was going to be his new home,” said Hilliard. “I feel like I’m here in his place. He’s here with me, he’s here with all of us. But, I’m here with my family. The Sheriff’s Office is my family, and they were Glenn’s family.”