Mades gets new term on police panel

June 10, 1997


Staff Writer

Maryland Police Training Commission membership has been an interesting experience, according to Washington County Sheriff Charles F. Mades.

"We've had a lot of hearings where we had to decide whether or not to decertify police officers," Mades said.

That has been one of the more difficult aspects of the job, one which he said he takes seriously.

Mades has been on the board since 1994 when he filled a vacancy created by the retirement of former Hagerstown Police Chief Paul Wood.

Mades recently was reappointed by Gov. Parris Glendening and the appointment confirmed by the Maryland State Senate Executive Nomination Committee. He is the only Western Maryland law enforcement officer on the 14-member board.


Mades said the board is working on a statewide transition of guns used by law enforcement officers in Maryland.

The same type of weapon used is not uniform in all departments, Mades said.

"For example, Hagerstown City Police and Maryland State Police now use .40-caliber semiautomatic sidearms," he said, while deputies still use 9mm semiautomatic weapons.

Traditionally, when a department has changed the type of weapon its officers carry, the officers have had to spend two days in the classroom and fire 600 rounds before being allowed to carry a different weapon, Mades said.

That might not seem like a big deal, but the cost to police agencies for that training and the officers' time can mount up, Mades said.

That is especially crucial for small police forces or security personnel at hospitals, big companies and so on, Mades said.

"We have now pared down the classroom time from two days to one," and officers need fire only 200 rounds from the new weapon, Mades said.

"Maryland has always been at the forefront in the nation in training," Mades said. "We have never had a court case involving our training standards."

The board meets at least six times a year by law, and holds special sessions when necessary.

Of the 14 members on the commission, 11 are civilians and three are law enforcement officials.

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