The Spy applauds the vote of the Mayor & Council to support the Chestertown Police Department. The vote comes four months after Mayor Cerino raised the prospect of shuttering the CPD to rein in town operating costs. Had that occurred, the County Commissioners would be required to fund public safety for Chestertown by default.
We also encourage our readers to heed Mayor Cerino’s conciliatory, but cautionary words:
“The public sentiment has been very overwhelming that we really like having our own police force,” Cerino said at last Monday’s meeting. “As long as people understand it’s one of our biggest line items.”
We applaud Councilman David Foster calling for consulting with law enforcement management experts and Councilwoman Meghan Efland for calling for an efficiency study to improve management and reduce overtime.
It is no secret that town tax receipts are flat and CPD costs continue to grow. The town’s cash flow challenge is exacerbated by the added burden of the Chestertown Marina Purchase Bond payments. Important projects have been delayed to fund the marina payment, such as completing the Rails Trail extension to Foxley Manor, an improvement long-awaited by the neighborhood’s residents seeking a safer route to walk or bike to downtown than navigating the traffic of Md. Rt. 213.
We encourage the Council to focus on finding efficiencies throughout the Town’s administration, not just CPD.
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