The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office has nine school resource deputies - one assigned to each public middle and high school in the county. Sheriff Mike Lewis says the deputies' salaries are fully paid for by the Wicomico County Board of Education, which was the first one in Maryland to fully fund Sheriff's deputies in schools. Sheriff Lewis says having the armed deputies in the schools has been very successful, not just in deterring crime, but also in investigating and fighting back against gang activities in the middle and high schools.
In Worcester County, Sheriff Reggie Mason wants to also put armed deputies in the county's schools. Sheriff Lewis says he's traveled with Sheriff Reggie Mason to Second Amendment rallies in Annapolis, and has talked with him about active-shooter situations in the schools. Lewis says Mason is committed to putting deputies in the schools, and he'll help Mason in any way he can. Sheriff Lewis says in the event of someone armed with a gun or a knife in a school, armed officers have to be able to engage that person immediately, instead of having to wait for a SWAT team from either the local or State Police.
Sheriff Lewis says he finds it very rewarding when he drives by schools in the mornings and afternoons, and sees his deputies talking with groups of students. He says some kids now want to become police officers or Sheriff's deputies as a result of those interactions. He also says his office gets many phone calls, letters and comments supporting their presence in the schools.
Return to: WGMD Local News Blog