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By C.J. LOVELACE | | May 17, 2012
Shortly after receiving a call for a reported kidnapping in progress near Williamsport, the actions of Washington County Sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Rick Kemmerer potentially helped save a woman's life. About 10:42 p.m. on April 1, Kemmerer spotted a man assaulting a woman near a vehicle that matched the description provided by dispatchers in a park-and-ride lot along Lappans Road near Interstate 81. The man jumped in the vehicle and tried to flee as Kemmerer pulled up. Acting quickly, the deputy smashed out a window and used a stun-gun to subdue the suspect until his backup could arrive.
By HEATHER KEELS | | May 7, 2012
A "leash law" for dogs could be up for consideration in Washington County. Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey said he plans to ask the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday for approval to schedule a public hearing on potential revisions to the county's animal-control ordinance, including the addition of a leash law. The change would require dogs to be restrained by a leash when off the property of their owners, except under certain circumstances....
By HEATHER KEELS | | April 19, 2012
Trainer Dennis Debbaudt walked up to a student in the front row and leaned in, speaking a few inches from his face during a training session Thursday for about 50 law-enforcement officials and emergency responders at Hagerstown Community College. He said that for someone with autism that might be a natural way to greet a new neighbor for the first time, while the startled neighbor might feel stalked, threatened or sexually harassed and call 911. The scenario is one of many examples of how people with autism think and behave differently than others that police and other emergency responders need to understand, organizers of the session said.
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | | April 5, 2012
The Berkeley County Sheriffs Association's request that the county's new public safety building be named in honor of the only deputy to be killed in the line of duty has been denied. In a March 30 letter to association President Scott Myers, Deputy County Administrator Alan J. Davis said the county's Law Enforcement Building Committee could not recommend the building at 510 S. Raleigh St. be named in honor of Deputy John L. Burkett III. Burkett, 28, died Jan. 31, 2001, in a head-on crash while transporting a fugitive from Pennsylvania to Berkeley County.
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | | March 22, 2012
A new 2013 budget, up just slightly from this year, is expected to be adopted Tuesday by the Jefferson County Commission following a sparsely attended public hearing Thursday night. The difference between this year's budget and next year's is about $2.7 million, said Paul Shroyer, the county's chief financial officer. The fiscal 2012 budget is $22.9 million compared to $25.6 million that goes in effect on July 1. In April, once the state approves the new appropriation, the commission will set a new levy rate of $13.09 per $100 of assessed property value, up from $12.04 per $100 in the current year.
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | | March 6, 2012
Jefferson County's two female sheriff's deputies came to their careers from different paths. Cpl. Tracy Harrison got into law enforcement following an eight-year stint in the U.S. Marines, while Deputy Phoebe Leber is following family tradition. Harrison, 35, who has been on the force for eight years, is one of three deputies in the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department's detective division. While she has investigated all kinds of criminal activity, her current responsibilities mostly deal with drug investigations.
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | | February 7, 2012
More than four years after Smithsburg police Officer Christopher S. Nicholson was shot and killed while on duty, his father is trying to get the fallen officer's service weapon. Larry Nicholson said he wants the handgun as part of a memorial for his son. Maryland law allows police officers' guns to be sold or transferred in a variety of ways, but doesn't permit what Larry Nicholson wants to do. Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, and Sen. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, have filed House and Senate versions of a bill to help Larry Nicholson with his quest.
February 1, 2012
Editor's note: This is another in a series of Eastern Panhandle candidate previews that The Herald-Mail will be running over the next several months. The announcements also will be posted on our website,, through the West Virginia primary on May 8. To submit announcements, email them and a color photo (preferably a jpeg) to or Any questions? Call 301-791-7281. Two-term former Jefferson County Sheriff Everett “Ed” Boober  has announced his bid to wrest his old job back from incumbent Sheriff Robert E. “Bobby” Shirley, who succeeded Boober in 2008.
January 23, 2012
There can be no excuse for driving past the red flashing lights of a stopped school bus. The law is universally known, and the reason for the law is universally understood. And the potential consequences of failing to stop are clearly understood as well. Why anyone would risk such tragedy is hard to fathom, but apparently people still do. So Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore has successfully petitioned the Washington County Board of Commissioners to allow cameras on school buses in hopes of encouraging greater compliance with the law. The cameras would be mounted on 20 buses to start, on routes that have had the most problems with law-breakers.
By DAN DEARTH | | December 29, 2011
Law-enforcement agencies and local cab companies will be out in force on New Year's Eve to make sure Washington County's roadways stay as safe as possible. Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore and Maryland State Police Lt. Tom Woodward said troopers and deputies will carry out saturation patrols to keep impaired drivers off the road. "It certainly is a time that gives us concern," Woodward said, noting troopers will start the saturation patrols this evening and finish Monday morning.
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