Council marks Correctional Officers’ Week

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Director of the Department of Corrections Joey Hughes, center, accepted a proclamation on May 7 from the Dorchester County Council in honor of Correctional Officers’ Week. Mr. Hughes praised his staff, in particular Correctional Officer of the Year Cpl. Michael Warfield, second from left.

CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County Council on May 7 issued a proclamation declaring May 5-11 as Correctional Officers’ Week. In the board’s meeting room to accept the honor was Director Joey Hughes and several of his officers from the county’s Detention Center.

“Corrections today is different than it used to be,” Mr. Hughes said. He noted that drug detection and referral for treatment have become a significant aspect of the officers’ responsibilities.

He told the council members that every inmate receives a drug screening – 872 in the past year alone, Mr. Hughes said. Of those, 655 tested positive for drugs, and 511 were referred for treatment.

Mr. Hughes reserved special recognition for Cpl. Michael Warfield, telling the council that he is the Detention Center’s Correctional Officer of the Year.

In other county news:

• Public hearings were held for the 2019-20 budget and the constant yield. No citizens spoke at either hearing.
• Rodney Banks spoke during a public hearing for fiscal year 2019 Agricultural Land Preservation Easements. “We have 91 farms in the county under some kind of easement,” he said, adding that this represented close to 15,000 acres.

“The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) was one of the first created in the United States and has become one of the nation’s leaders in agricultural land preservation,” the group’s website says. “Created by the General Assembly in 1977, MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland and has permanently preserved land in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, representing a public investment of over $682 million. At the end of fiscal year 2016, MALPF has purchased easements on a cumulative total of 2,218 properties, permanently preserving about 300,916 acres.”

The Dorchester County Agricultural Land Preservation Board had approved applications, Mr. Banks said, and he asked to council to concur. The members did, by a vote of 4-0, with Libby Nagel (District 5) abstaining.

• A request from Director Ryan White to amend the Department of Public Work’ working hours was defeated 3-2, with Mr. Nichols, Ms. Nagel and Jay Newcomb (District 1) opposed. Ricky Travers (District 3) and Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) were opposed.

• Council members decided unanimously to enter a special events agreement with Annapolis Bike Racing Team for the Church Creek time trials on June 29 and Aug. 17, and for the Eagleman Triathlon on June 9. The Sheriff’s Office will provide four vehicles and deputies for the Church Creek events, while there will be 15 vehicles and deputies for the triathlon.

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