He also discusses plans to build a new police department headquarters.
Frederick, Md (KM) There has been a lot of talk recently about the morale of Frederick Police Officer, particularly following recent demonstrations in the downtown where officers’ patrol cars were surrounded by protesters. A source told WFMD News that morale had sunk.
During a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Morning News Express,” Mayor Michael O’Connor addressed that issue. . “Policing is a really difficult profession, and it’s only become a more difficult profession over the last year plus,” he said. “And I’m not surprised about officers in any police department dealing with the morale of everything that’s been happening in the world and the world of policing over the last year plus.”
But he made this promise. “My Department will have the resources that they need to do the job,”: he said. “We negotiated a four-year contract with our FOP. It’s a great contract for our officers.”
“It doesn’t solve every problem because we did that before all these other things happened,” Mayor O’Connor continues. “We have been a strong supporter–I have been a strong supporter–of our officers and working with them, getting contracts that are good for them, good for the Department, good for their families.”
And he commended the work police officers do each day to keep everyone safe. “We continue to see crime levels in the city of Frederick that sit at five and 20-year lows. And that is a testament to the professionalism and the accountability and the activity of the Frederick Police Department,” says Mayor O’Connor.
The Mayor also addressed the issue of a new headquarters for the Frederick Police Department. It’s an issue that’s been around for several years, before O’Connor took office as Mayor. “We are actively pursuing property acquisition for a new police headquarters building,” he said.
There has been some discussion about co-locating with the Sheriff’s Office at the Law Enforcement Center on Airport Drive. Mayor O’Connor said that wouldn’t work for the Frederick Police Department because it’s too remote from the downtown. “Imagine, for example, the activities of last summer, and not having ready access to our police facility being within blocks of where some of those protest activities were taking place,” he says.
O’Connor says any new Police Department headquarters should be close to the downtown area. “We want to make sure that the primary footprint of our Police Department is at or near the Square Corner of the city of Frederick,” he said. “We believe that it’s important for that law enforcement presence should be in the heart of the city. That’s what our residents expect.”
For many years, the Frederick Police Department has been located at the County Court House.
By Kevin McManus