It was an historic event at the Frederick Fairgrounds on Tuesday morning with the swearing-in of the Honorable Charles A. (Chuck) Jenkins and the deputies of the Sheriff’s Department of Frederick County. Thank goodness Chuck will be serving our community as chief law enforcement officer for another four years.
The reason his swearing in is called historic is that this is the first time a sheriff has been elected four times in a row in the history of our county. The Honor is well deserved.
During the 12 years Chuck has served, his absolute focus has been on keeping the citizens of Frederick County safe and running the most effective and efficient agency possible. He even thought carefully about the color of the jail inmate uniforms. They are orange and white striped, “Because I couldn’t get pink.” I can see why. It would be difficult to get into a serious fight dressed like that.
He has thought long and hard about the ICE 287g Program, so frequently decried in today’s progressive world. Having written about the program during my tenure as a Frederick News-Post columnist, I toured the jail and the program as part of my research.
The first thing I’ll say about it is that the rule books are so thick you could use them for weight lifting. These rules are followed meticulously in Frederick County.
Second, the way you find yourself in the ICE program is to be arrested and taken to Central Booking at the county jail. Everyone booked is asked the same 12 questions. Some relate to mental or physical health, gun ownership, etc.; and some relate to your country of origin and your citizenship.
Then that big rule book is opened, and, if you and your crime meet the criteria, you may find yourself up for deportation at some point. In Frederick, some people who thought they were illegal residents learned they were citizens during the 12 questions, having been born here and returned to Latin America with their parents when young children. Bet that improved their days.
During Sheriff Jenkins’ tenure, crime in Frederick County is down, much lower than adjacent areas. Under his watch over ICE in our county, over 1,000 criminals have been deported, more than 100 of which were MS-13 members. I’m glad those people are gone.
Fiscal responsibility has allowed Sheriff Jenkins to return over $33 million dollars of budgeted but unspent money to our county government. The Sheriff’s Department is fully equipped and would be fully staffed with enough applicants for open positions. Wonder what would happen to the national debt if more government agencies operated this way.
At his swearing-in, the sheriff also spoke about the ugliness and the rampant lies of this campaign. Twelve years ago, a campaign could be fun. But now, across the nation, including our county, the unethical, vicious, lying behavior of so many candidates is intolerable.
The official speaker for Tuesday’s event was Thomas Homan, former acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He spoke briefly, but eloquently about the need for border security, describing the cruelty of “coyotes,” those traffickers of illegal immigrants across our border. These charmers leave sick people in the desert to die, rape unprotected woman and leave people to smother in overheated trucks. They threaten families already in the United States with the death of the family members in their care, if a $10,000 entry fee is not paid.
Mr. Homan strongly complimented Sheriff Jenkins on his perfectly run Frederick County ICE Program, rightly so if my tour is any indication.
Sheriff Jenkins received a beautifully engraved and decorated handgun as a gift from his deputies to celebrate his fourth swearing in. It’s a good sign when one is appreciated by those one supervises.
We are so blessed to have Chuck Jenkins as our sheriff for another term. To paraphrase a story of his, we might be able to sleep with the windows open.