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Town council votes to hire police officer

March 07, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

About three weeks after a Boonsboro police officer was suspended without pay for allegedly making threats to public officials and institutions, the Town Council voted Monday to hire another officer.

"I want to commend you for getting the force back up to speed," Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman told Police Chief Jeff Hewett.

The council voted unanimously to hire Charles Stanford, a retired Maryland State Police officer, and it appointed both Stanford and part-time Boonsboro officer Craig Sipes as municipal infractions officers. Stanford will work a one-year probationary period, Town Manager John Kendall said.

Assistant Mayor Howard W. Long was absent from Monday's meeting.

Jeffrey Scott Shifler, who was fired from the Hagerstown Police Department before being hired by Boonsboro, was arrested Feb. 9 for allegedly making threats to public officials and institutions.

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According to the Herald-Mail, the FBI alleges that between March 2004 and his arrest, Shifler made 14 anonymous telephone calls and sent at least nine anonymous letters.

Kendall said Monday that Shifler was no longer employed by the town.

According to Hewett, Stanford is a 43-year-old, Smithsburg-area resident, who worked as a school-resource officer after retiring as a trooper.

"He comes well-qualified, and so far, everyone I've spoken to speaks very highly of him," Hewett said.

Kendall told the Associated Press last month that Shifler's dismissal from the Hagerstown Police Department did not disqualify him from law-enforcement work.

Eleven people applied to be the town's new officer, Kendall said. Only three were certified officers, and of those three, one was eliminated because of experience, Kendall said. Stanford's drug testing and background check both have been completed, and he is set to start Wednesday, Kendall said.

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