Wicomico Scores Grant For Pretrial Services Program

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico county this week voted to accept a grant for more than $50,000 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to accept a grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in the amount $50,245 to enhance the county’s Pretrial Services Program, which provides information to the courts on defendants booked at the detention center.

According to a memo submitted to the county council this week, the grant will be used to expand electronic monitoring systems to include the “stay away” feature, cover the costs of required substance tests and hire an additional employee to provide intensive pretrial supervision.

Before voting to accept the grant award, however, some members of the council questioned the specifics of the grant, namely the use and purpose of the electronic monitoring system’s “stay away” feature.

“Do you have any idea what this money is going to be used for?” said Councilman Joe Holloway.

Wayne Strausburg, the county’s director of administration, noted that the director of the department of corrections was not present to answer any questions, but said it was his belief the money would be used for electronic monitoring bracelets. He added that the grant required no matching funds from the county.

“I don’t think there is a match,” he said. “This is a straight grant.”

With no further questions, the council voted 6-0, with Councilman John Hall absent, to approve the $50,245 grant.

The council on Tuesday also agreed to move forward with a request to convey a portion of Sixty Food Road in Pittsville to the State Highway Administration following a public hearing this week.

The deeded parcel includes 1,690 linear feet of roadway, from a point 0.13 miles south of Old Ocean City Road to the intersection of Route 50.

“This request is a two-step process,” said Council Administrator Laura Hurley. “The first step is to have a public hearing, and at the next legislative session the council is to consider the request and vote.”

With no comments from the public in a hearing this week, the council agreed to bring the issue up for discussion and possible action at the Nov. 20 legislative session of the Wicomico County Council.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.