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 Greg Alton

A CANDIDATE FOR SHERIFF THAT CARES ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU!

Ret. Lt. Greg Alton knows about the issues important to Washington County voters because he has lived and worked in Washington County for his entire life. 

 

See Greg's position on many of the important issues facing Washington County, listed below. 

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INNOVATIVE

RESPONSE

TO THE

OPIOID EPIDEMIC

The opioid epidemic has been crippling the United States for over two decades.  Countless lives have been lost or otherwise impacted and while improvements have been made, there is still much work that needs to be done.  There are many possible approaches to the opioid problem in our community, but one thing is clear; no one solution is capable of doing it all.  To combat this epidemic in our community we need a combination of tough enforcement targeting those drug dealers who profit off of our neighbors’ suffering as well as a compassionate connection to community resources for those struggling with addiction.  The current administration has led the way in the State of Maryland on this front.  Sheriff Mullendore has prioritized tough enforcement against drug dealers utilizing the Washington County Narcotics Task Force while simultaneously developing the Washington County Day Reporting Center and implementing various diversion/community-based programs to connect drug users to the help that they so desperately need.

As Sheriff, continuing the difficult work of fighting this epidemic will be a top priority.  To this end, I have selected actively serving patrol Lieutenant Josh McCauley to serve as my Chief Deputy.  Josh has been a strong advocate for vulnerable communities in Washington County for years and in addition to his patrol responsibilities, he is responsible for managing the agency’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD), the Washington County Juvenile Diversion Program and he also is the Sheriff’s Office’s representative to the Washington County Mobile Crisis Unit.  Under our experienced guidance, the Sheriff’s Office will continue to lead the state in our response to this crisis.  We will consistently look for other evidence-based programs that will reduce the taxpayer costs associated with this crisis and provide better outcomes for the community, including those living with addiction.

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 FISCAL 

RESPONSIBILITY 

Despite the example that is frequently set by federal politicians, fiscal responsibility should be a primary concern for those serving in public office.  The economic future of our county is forever tied to the fiscal responsibility of those who manage taxpayer funds.  At one time, fiscal conservatism was a valued trait in a public servant, and being coined “Fiscally Responsible” was a sought-after label.  I still seek that label and as Sheriff of Washington County, I will make certain that the three divisions of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office remain good stewards of county funds.  During my tenure, spending decisions will be evaluated using a cost/benefit analysis to ensure that the citizens of Washington County are receiving the best value and highest level of service for the lowest possible costs.  While it is always difficult to put a price on public safety, I will work daily to reduce waste and increase efficiency in an effort to minimize the burden on county taxpayers.

PROFESSIONALISM

TRANSPARENCY 

JUSTICE

The employees of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the administration that leads them have developed and fostered a positive relationship with the community that has weathered the national storms that have caused other communities to change their perceptions of law enforcement and corrections.  This was accomplished, in no small part, due to the professionalism of the men and women currently serving in uniform.

As Sheriff of Washington County, I will continue to build upon that well-established relationship, holding my deputies to the highest standards of professional behavior and instilling a culture of transparency and ethical behavior throughout the agency.  The citizens of Washington County have a right to know that the law enforcement and correctional agency that serves them is constantly working for their best interests.  As your Sheriff, I will continue the practice of making our policies publicly available for review, and in those rare instances of a complaint against personnel, my administration will thoroughly investigate to make certain that only the highest quality professionals serve this community.  

If elected, it will be my never-ending duty to guarantee that all citizens, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion or age, receive the full protection and professional service that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is known for.  This duty begins in the police/detention academies where my administration will continue the great work of the current administration in ensuring that all newly hired deputies are trained in the areas of equitable enforcement, implicit bias, de-escalation, reasonable use of force, and appropriate interactions with those in our communities living with mental health issues and developmental disabilities.  That work will continue throughout their careers as we continually train to make ourselves better and more proficient in those areas.   

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PRO SECOND AMENDMENT

I firmly believe in the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms for the defense of themselves and their families.  I believe that the official 2016 Republican Party Platform said it best stating:

“We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment. Lawful gun ownership enables Americans to exercise their God-given right of self-defense for the safety of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities.”

 

As Sheriff of Washington County, I will work diligently to protect your rights.  That protection starts here in Washington County with reasonable interpretation and application of existing law.  That protection will also extend to Annapolis where misinformed politicians do everything in their power to chip away at the rights of Maryland citizens to protect themselves.  As Sheriff, my administration will be an active presence in Annapolis, testifying for pro-second amendment legislation and fighting against unjust laws that restrict the rights of Washington County residents to keep and bear arms.  

 287(g) JAIL ENFORCEMENT 

PROGRAM 

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “287(g) program” is a program that establishes a partnership between local law enforcement and ICE.  There are many mistruths circulating in the media regarding this program and when the facts are separated from fiction, it becomes clear that the 287(g) program makes communities safer.  The program trains and certifies detention deputies to screen every incoming arrestee to identify and remove criminal illegal immigrants.  To be clear, the program screens every person who has been arrested for a criminal offense.  From the existing group of arrestees, the program then identifies those persons who are in the United States in violation of Federal Law, and if appropriate, starts the process for a handoff to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for potential removal from the United States.  

According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, the 287(g) program is currently being used by 76 law enforcement agencies in 21 different states, and in 2019 alone, the program encountered over 1,800 criminal illegal immigrants who were convicted of various criminal offenses from assault and drug offenses to sexual assault and homicide.  That is over 1,800 criminals that were not released back into the community to potentially re-offend.  The program has built-in prosecutorial discretion which grants release to those offenders who are in the United States illegally but have a compelling humanitarian need to stay in the country.  This program is already in effect in the neighboring jurisdiction of Frederick County.  Their successful and humane implementation of the program proves its worthiness for consideration in our community.

If elected, the safety of the community will be my first priority, and implementing a program designed to reduce the number of criminal offenders unnecessarily walking our streets makes too much sense to ignore.  As Sheriff, I will immediately begin the process of partnering with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to implement the “Jail Enforcement Model” of the 287(g) program.

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EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES

One of the greatest challenges in the operation of any law enforcement agency is the distribution of manpower in a manner that best serves the community.  The Washington County Sheriff’s Office patrols approximately 267 square miles, serves a population of over 151,000 residents, and handled over 69,000 calls for service, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office 2019 Annual Report.  With an area of responsibility so large and with such immense “call for service” obligations, the distribution of patrol personnel should be of utmost importance to ensure all county residents enjoy the same levels of protection for their tax contributions.

As Sheriff, I will work to make certain that all areas of the County receive adequate law enforcement services, including the extreme Western, Southern, and Eastern parts of our county.  These areas have been historically underserved due to their location and lower call generating volume.  In the first year of my administration, I will work cooperatively with the County Administration and County Commissioners to develop a comprehensive patrol manpower plan that will increase the number of personnel patrolling our county streets.  This will be accomplished via a thorough assessment of existing resources, a four-six year hiring plan to increase the number of deputies available to protect our citizens and the creation of geographically spaced substations that will reduce the pooling of personnel and resources in and around Hagerstown.

While this plan will take time to fully implement, I am confident that immediate improvements can be made utilizing the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the amazing men and women currently serving within the office.  The current administration has made great strides in this area over the last 16 years and I will build upon those advances to make sure all county residents feel safe and are adequately served.

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