Jenkins

Chuck Jenkins is the sheriff in Frederick County, Maryland. He is currently seeking re-election.

Chuck is part of the "let's get back to the way things used to be" crowd - which is code for black folks should know their place, and "what the heck are all these immigrants doing here". (In plain English, these folks are racist and anyone with a Jenkins sign in their yard is advertising that they are racists.)

A few years back, a couple of Jenkins' off-duty deputies - working security at the local movie theater - killed a young man with Downs Syndrome for trying to watch a second showing of a movie.  The young man was Ethan Saylor.  His mom Patty lobbied hard to have additional training for all Maryland law enforcement officers, while continuing to pursue legal action. The case was only recently completed, with the family prevailing.

Under Jenkins, the FredCo Sheriff's Office got in on the "big version" of the 287g (immigration enforcement) program (where local LEOs were empowered to do street-level enforcement of Federal immigration laws). That soon turned into a ridiculous mess, and was probably part of why street level actions under 287g were ended (it became a jail-only program). Jenkins had campaigned on "getting the Hispanics out of the County" and according to a local NGO, was quite successful. As a tangential loss to FredCo, for years visiting scientists from around the world, eligible to bring their families along, would reside elsewhere rather than subject their family members to the stops happening in Frederick County. Who knows what the economic hit was, but it was undoubtedly significant.  It's a fair jump to assert that Chuck's fantasy of going back to the way Frederick used to be includes his deputies being empowered to harass every non-white person who steps foot in Frederick County. Jenkins has asserted that the County's current participation in ICE programs is a money-maker, but a review undertaken by a group of citizens and presented to the FredCo County Council, suggests that the program actually costs the County a considerable sum. Jenkins response was acquiescence - basically saying so what if it costs money, it makes everyone safer. That's a bald-face lie - both victims and witnesses who are undocumented - faced with cooperating with law enforcement or being sent out of the US - will typically not cooperate. That means bad guys get away with crime and abused spouses just have to put up with it. That's the impact of 287g. (We know this is confusing - actual criminals who are undocumented - wanted felons - are in a database that gets searched for every arrestee. The real bad guys have arrest warrants. The feds will be alerted without 287g. The feds have the option of picking the person up from jail.) Many residents of FredCo want 287g to end and others do not. Sadly, an informed decision about the program isn't possible because Chuck is not forthright about the cost of it and the detention program.

There are three ways that Chuck's version of the Sheriff's Office are failing to address FredCo's pervasive drug problem. 1)there is no robust program to assist inmates at the Frederick County jail, 2) Chuck's drug enforcement strategy is nearly all based on finding drugs during traffic stops, 3) Chuck says we just have to wait for the opioid epidemic to run its course (doesn't that mean everyone will be dead?).

Chuck was an OK sheriff when Frederick County was "FredNeck" - but the County has grown into a wonderfully diverse place that's trying like crazy to be welcoming to new residents and employers. Chuck Jenkins is nothing but an impediment to the future of Frederick County.


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