Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Final Word on FOP Endorsments

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, August 23, 2006

An email from FOP President Andy Mackert

Related to this post 

My name is Andy Mackert. I am a Sheriff Deputy in Howard County, Maryland.

As the Presdent and co-founder of the Howard County Sheriff’s F.O.P. I am surprised but pleased that this Post on my friend David Keelan’s blog has generated so much interest.

That the F.O.P. could so quickly generate the passionate interests of Howard County citizens confirms that our concerns are being noticed. Now we need to ensure that action will be taken. Our endorsements were just the first step in a long process. Long after I and others have left the Sheriff’s Department we hope that positive changes will last.

As the Voice of the F.O.P as a whole I am in a position where some people love me and some don’t. Looking back setting up the F.O.P. may have been easier than running it. The endorsment process is an example where all the members did not agree on the endorsements. Not that anyone expected full agreement. One of the things I love about this department is that we all can agree to disagree.

Let me set the record straight for some of you today!

Fact:
The Deputy’s endorsed Jim Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald 16 Votes
Cave 6 Votes
No Endorsement 11 Votes

Fact:
Sheriff Cave DID support our job protection bill.

Fact:
Sheriff cave DID support the starting of a F.O.P.

Fact:
Sheriff Cave tells us and others that he asks Jim Robey for more people, and better benefits all the time. Jim Robey tell the Deputy’s that Sheriff Cave never asks. Many members had that in mind when they cast their votes.

Fact:
Sheriff Cave DID NOT support our bill on Collective Bargaining.

Fact:
Sheriff Cave DID NOT fight at a meeting with Herman Charity for what is now a Watered down worker compensation bill.

Fact:
Many of us feel that we are so under manned that there are not enough deputies to do the job safely.

Fact:
Our sheriff’s office has horrible benefits. For the richest county in the state and for the responsibilities of this Department, that Mr. Gable outlined so well in his comments, the public should be very upset.

Fact:
Our F.O.P has nothing against Chuck Cave. He is a very nice person and we respect him as an individual and for his service. I would stand him a beer anytime. That does not change our concerns that we are over worked, and under paid, that we don’t have the retirement or other benefits we deserve for the level of work we do as law enforcement officers. We feel that someone else can better represent our interests as Sheriff. We want a leader who will fight for our rights. We all knew that when we signed on, and if we want change then we need to be prepared to make difficult and uncomfortable choices. I believe all of our endorsement reflect our faith in those individuals that we believe will help or, as may be the case, continue to help us gain the same rights and benefits as other public safety officers.

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2 Responses to “Final Word on FOP Endorsments”

  1. Dina said

    Andy,

    How can a positive change happen when some find the need to make incorrect statements only for the sole purpose of creating a hostile /uncomfortable environment for others to work in? Exactly how are the rest of us suppose to handle this, forget any of it occurred after the fact? Wipe the slate clean? I can honestly say that this election has caused me to take a better look at the people I thought I knew. My thinking was for the most part this office was pretty supportive of one another. We supported each other with death, marriage, new arrivals, and any other issue that come into the office. Now, I don’t believe anyone is safe for the sole purpose of making someone else look bad or to make your grip be the loudest.
    We all would like better benefits, a bigger salary and anything else we would wish for…the truth is that doesn’t always happen. You talk about benefits how do our benefits/ salaries compare to the State employees? Have you looked at other local Sheriff’s Office and Police Departments? Ours is no different across the board when there is a Police Department and Sheriff’s Office in that County (the police department make more money), we don’t work for the police department!! My point is, when you compare other sheriff’s offices with similar duties Howard County is ranked in the top 4 with a higher salary being paid. Other Sheriff’s Offices like Anne Arundel (Lateral transfer $34,677-$50,936) who are a 24/7 operation do not make what Howard County Sheriff’s Office does and the civilian positions are even less.
    We all made a choice to come to work for this office for one reason or another. I came to work for this office because I liked (and still do) the Sheriff and the rest of the personnel that I came into contact with. The truth is Andy; most of the deputies have their retirement for other agencies. In reality they can go home or find another job not minding what the salary or the benefits might be (keep in mind they decided to come here, why?). Those deputies have little to lose if they don’t like the change or the new personnel. Some of us don’t have that luxury.
    It has been my experience that a true politician will tell you whatever they need to, to win your vote. I don’t see the Sheriff as a politician to me he is a man of his word, he will not promise you a rose garden if he knows it will not be watered, he is someone that you can talk to about most anything and he listens (not always agreeing), if you have ideas of improvement he encourages it, and he believes that family is important. Shortage on deputies and security personnel is an issue, the office has hired new personnel to fill vacancies and other situations that arise, but you know that process. The background has to be done and it is a timely process.
    When you started your career at the Sheriff’s office you knew what you were getting yourself into, as did all of us. Everything is outline prior to you taking the position, it must not of been to bad of a deal (how long have you been here?). One more thing to remember we all have our ups and downs, we know how Sheriff Cave and his administration handles those times, how do you think another would handle it??? My biggest fear is that change will happen and it is not going to be what any of us were expecting. I love my job and I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to work here at Howard County Sheriff’s Office and certainly hope that continues.

    A Concerned Co-Worker,

    Dina Ward

  2. You said: “Their are 270,000 people in Howard County and they don’t all live in Columbia, only 90,000 do and they all don’t commute to Silver Spring either. Where do you think the rest of the 180,000 people live in Howard County? 70,000 live in Ellicott City. BTW: Ellicott City is a much nicer place than Columbia – you should visit sometime.”

    I’ve been to Ellicott City before, both the super-quaint downtown and the sprawl ring along Route 100. What frustrates me about the downtown is that it is little more than an antiques district when it could have become an actual center for the region.

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