SNOW HILL – Officials approved plans for the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office to provide an interim police chief for Snow Hill, though only after voicing concerns about the cost.
The Worcester County Commissioners voted 6-1 on Tuesday to approve an agreement that will allow Sheriff Matthew Crisafulli to appoint Lt. Ed Schreier to serve as interim police chief in Snow Hill. Schreier will fill the role as Snow Hill works to find a replacement for Tom Davis, whose last day is Feb. 10.
“I think the bottom line is we need to have Snow Hill protected,” Commissioner Ted Elder said.
Crisafulli told the commissioners that Snow Hill’s mayor had asked him for help when Davis announced he’d be leaving. He said he’d talked to officials with the Maryland State Police and that they provided a similar service to smaller jurisdictions when the need arose.
Crisafulli pointed out he’d put a 60-day limit on Schreier’s time in Snow Hill because the funding would be coming from his own department’s budget.
Commissioner Bud Church asked if Snow Hill would be paying for the service. Crisafulli indicated the town would not.
“He is still ultimately an employee of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office,” he said, adding that Schreier would still be wearing that uniform and using his regular patrol vehicle. “He can be given duties and assignments as I deem necessary.”
Church clarified his question.
“I didn’t mean for the money to go to him,” he said. “I meant for the money to go to your department.”
Crisafulli said that hadn’t occurred in the past.
“I guess that is something I could have discussions with the town about,” he said. “I just know in the past, based on it being an interim appointment, Maryland State Police have never been reimbursed. Years ago I believe we’ve done this two different times. There were never any reimbursements.”
Commissioner Jim Bunting said he would not support the request.
“I really don’t understand why we’re not being reimbursed,” he said.
Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom expressed concern regarding the paperwork involved but the county’s attorney assured him the she’d reviewed it with Snow Hill’s attorney as well as with the county’s Local Government Insurance Trust attorneys.
When asked if it was in the best interest of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office to provide an interim police chief, Crisafulli replied, “We had an allied agency seek our assistance.”
The commissioners voted 6-1, with Bunting opposed, to approve the agreement with Snow Hill.
“I don’t mind it happening, but I think we should be reimbursed,” Bunting said.