Questions about law enforcement policies and protocols, especially regarding excessive use of force, racial profiling, and lack of transparency, continue to trend nationally as frustrated communities demand more accountability.
Chestertown Chief of Police Ron Dixon. Kent County commissioners, and the Chesterton town council take these issues seriously and despite budgetary restraints have sought to implement best practices as a community law enforcement agency.
The Maryland Police Accountability Community and Transparency (PACT) passed in 2021 mandates the establishment of an oversight board and committee to receive complaints about police activity. Additionally, the accountability act updates best practices for officers engaging with the community, ranging from the use of new body cameras, to yearly psychological and physical fitness reviews.
While not included in this interview, Dixon would like to remind the community about the rise is scams targeting seniors. Usually, the scams arrive either as an email or phone call demanding payment for a fictitious invoice, or fake bond requests for the release of a relative.
In two cases, CPD was tipped off by a pharmacy that someone was trying to buy hundreds of dollars of gift cards, a typical payment request by scammers. The transactions were halted when police arrived to help.
Also, addressing the frequent scams involving the sale of an advertised item—usually a vehicle—where the seller of the car is met by a fake purchaser who subsequently robs the seller, Dixon wants the public to know that the PD’s parking lot is a “safe spot” for transactions. The area is well-lighted and under surveillance.
The Spy recently caught up with Chief Dixon to talk about police transparency and accountability according to the PACT updates.
This video is approximately nine minutes in length. For Chestertown Police Department updates see their Facebook page here. For assistance, call (410) 778-1800.