Police officer files to run for county commissioner

July 07, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

After more than two decades as a Hagerstown Police officer, Sgt. Kevin S. Simmers says he is ready to serve his community in a new way: as an elected Washington County Commissioner.

"I'll have a lot more voice as one of five, rather than one of 100 police officers in the city," said Simmers, who filed July 1 to run for the office.

Simmers, 45, of Clear Spring, was hired by the Hagerstown Police Department in 1988 and heads the department's downtown squad.

He said that if elected, he would retire from the police department but might seek another job in the private sector. The city's charter says that "no officer or employee in the classified service of the city shall continue in such a position after being elected to any public office."

Simmers said he would push for consolidation of city and county services, including the creation of a countywide fire department and consolidation of the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Hagerstown Police Department.


He said those agencies already have taken many steps toward consolidation, including a consolidated 911 center, central booking facility, narcotics task force and warrant task force. A full consolidation would eliminate jurisdictional problems, allowing better coverage for areas near the city-county border where, currently, the closest available officer isn't always the one authorized to make an arrest.

Simmers said another change he would like to see is for school gymnasiums to be open to students on weekends.

Simmers, a Republican, is a graduate of Clear Spring High School and Hagerstown Community College, and spent four years in the Air Force.

He said he hoped after his long police career, his integrity would speak for itself.

"I'd be honest and up front with people, and I'll be accessible," he said. "You'll always have access to me."

Simmers is one of 14 candidates who filed to run for county commissioner.

Commissioners are paid $30,000 a year; the commissioners president is paid $33,000 a year.

A primary election will be Sept. 14. The general election will be Nov. 2.

Just the facts about Kevin S. Simmers

Date of birth: May 6, 1965

Street address: Not included at candidate's request for security reasons

Hometown: Clear Spring

Education: Clear Spring High School, 1983; associate degree in criminal justice from Hagerstown Community College, 1992

Occupation: Hagerstown Police Department sergeant

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: First run for office

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