Ocean City Today
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Truitt to face McDermott, Crisafulli for sheriff

Former Fruitland officer to focus on opiate addiction, community policing policy
By Brian Gilliland | Jun 29, 2017

(June 30, 2017) Though the election for sheriff is about a year and a half away, three Republican candidates have already filed for the office, and yard signs are starting to appear along Worcester roads and in front of homes.

Among those is George Truitt, 56, from Eden, Maryland and a former police officer in Fruitland. Truitt is now employed as the security officer for Abco Protection Agency in Berlin, where he is on the front lines battling opiate addiction. Not coincidentally, the fight against opiate addiction is a core tenet of his candidacy.

“My main issue is the opiate problem. Education, in and of itself, is not the solution to our problems — we need to do more to enforce our drug laws,” he said. “We’re telling kids drugs are bad, but aren’t doing enough to keep them out of schools and homes.”

Truitt said he would support a program to assign a K9 unit to travel between the schools conducting searches to discover illicit substances.

“We’ll send the message that we’re not going to tolerate it in our schools,” he said.

Truitt said as sheriff, he would focus on community policing, where deputies are assigned to certain zones to allow easier communications between officers and the communities they serve.

“If we’re out in the communities, we’re out to talk,” he said. “I’ll make the sheriff available to the community via phone, email — I’ll even give my own personal contact info to the community.”

Truitt said he thinks the presence of deputies is more noticeable in the north end of the county, but it’s not necessarily the visibility that concerns him.

“It’s good to have patrols, but people would like to see [deputies] in their communities,” he said. “I’m big into street policing. Residents know who belongs there and where everyone is supposed to be.”

Officers can also serve as information sources.

“Sometimes people don’t read the news. They don’t watch television, so they can get information from local police. The only good, effective way to do police work is to involve the community.”

Part of his visibility program is to establish, maintain and staff two satellite sheriff’s offices in the north and south ends of the county, open 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

“Money is tight for everyone, I’ve written grants before, and have had them funded. I’ll be here to interact with the business community to see if they are willing to help,” Truitt said.

Truitt ran against incumbent Sheriff Reggie Mason in 2014, and said that effort was a way to introduce himself to the public and to determine if the switch to politics suited him.

“The sheriff is a premier office, and deserves a premier agency. I’m going to be here to help you. When you pick up the phone to call, you’ll know you’ll have someone on the other end who can help,” he said. “My goal is to take something and make it better — I’m not saying they’re not going a good job now, but I think they can do more.”

 

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