Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Holds Training Academy Graduation – Baltimore Sun


On April 1, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office held graduation drills at its North Carroll facility for the fifth class at the Law Enforcement Officer Training Academy and the second class at the academy of correctional officers.

Fifteen new law enforcement officers graduated from the training academy and nine correctional assistants graduated from the correctional academy.

Training for law enforcement officers is constantly evolving, and by all accounts, the instruction provided at the 28-week training academy is both physically and intellectually rigorous. However, today’s formation contrasts sharply with that of 75 years ago.

Back on October 11, 1946, the Democratic attorney published an article, “Recommended for Sheriff,” which profiled the Democratic candidate for sheriff showing his qualifications for the position.

“You have to have some real tricks to deal with a knife situation at a county fair. Candidate Ray Yohn for Democratic sheriff was invited by a knife thrower to the Carroll County Fair in Taneytown last week to have a cigar the sheriff smoked to be amputated near his mouth as an exhibit .

“Mr. Yohn accepted the invitation. He stood sideways at a distance with his cigar near a wooden fence. … The second [knife] cut the cigar in half, the knife planting the plank.

“Somehow Wesley Mathias, the Republican candidate for sheriff was asked to do the same thing. But he refused to do so.

“The knife thrower learning that the two were opponents in the next election remarked, ‘You should elect Mr. Yohn sheriff, who has the courage to perform his duty without fear,’ they say.”

In May 2018, the first class of the training academy graduated 17 recruits. That year, Carroll County’s 58th Sheriff, Jim DeWees, “congratulated 17 young men … on what will be one of their proudest accomplishments,” he said. He knows this because he still considers graduating from the police academy one of his greatest accomplishments,” according to a graduation account.

Graduate freshman Annelise Young served as this year’s law enforcement class president. After graduating, Young joined the Sykesville Police Department, much to the delight of Sykesville Mayor Stacy Link, who also attended the graduation ceremonies. Young addressed the graduating classes at the ceremony, explaining in detail the rigors and difficulties of the training.

“Not everyone is cut out for something like this,” Young explained. “You should all be proud of how far you’ve come. I am personally very proud to represent the Sykesville Police Department as our very first recruit. …

“At the start of the academy, we were told to think of it as an elephant that we had to eat and to take it one bite at a time. Every major training we completed was one more bite of the elephant. There were days when the bite was hard to swallow. Today we finished this elephant. The last thing I have to say is: this elephant was delicious!

The academy is the product of the hard work and forward thinking of DeWees, who grew up in Carroll County and graduated in 1988 from South Carroll High School. DeWees began his career as a cadet at age 18, with the Maryland State Police. He retired in 2014 after 25 years of service. It was also the year he was elected Carroll County’s first new sheriff in 16 years.

In DeWees’ commencement address at the graduation ceremonies, he observed that “this is an unusual and challenging time for our world. In my 33 years as a law enforcement officer, I have never seen fear and uncertainty in our profession as it has in the past two years.

“Almost simultaneously when COVID-19 hit, there were calls for police reform, and some advocating for defunding the police. … First responders and corrections were experiencing what could be compared to a 100-year storm.

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“But despite all those forces telling you to run away from this profession, you chose to defy the negativity and pursue it anyway. … You have decided to rise up and join a very noble and rewarding profession.

DeWees mentioned that he had told the class the night before “about Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 1914, Shackleton recruited a crew for a very dangerous mission in Antarctica. Knowing that this sailing expedition would be dangerous with almost certain failure, he chose to recruit differently from what his bosses wanted him to do. …

“He knew he would need a special crew for this mission. Shackleton’s message read: “Men wanted for dangerous journey. Small wages, freezing cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, questionable safe return. Honor and recognition if successful. Sound familiar?

“Just weeks into his expedition, Shackleton’s ship ran aground in the ice. His ship and crew would be there until the ice melted in early spring. But it took years before Shackleton could pick up his entire crew and bring them to civilization.

“Shackleton did not lose a single member of his crew despite the almost certain reality of death. It was no fluke. It was because he recruited the right people for the job.

“I believe,” DeWees said, “you’re all the right people for the job. I know you have been well trained. … I am convinced that you have what it takes to make this career.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His column Time Flies appears every Sunday. Email him at [email protected].


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