PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. — “On the surface, the Republican candidates for Sheriff all appear to be the same, but they’re not,” says Craig Kontra, who retired from the Sheriff’s Office in late 2020 after 33 years of service in Calvert County.
Since his retirement, Sgt. Kontra has been laying the groundwork for a run at the office, and now his campaign is in full swing, with fundraisers, door knocking, and talks to any group that will listen.
Most political candidates do the same, of course. But Kontra has come up with a series of position papers on what he sees as the hot issues of the day. He calls them the “pillars” of his campaign and says they cover his thoughts and the fresh ideas he will embrace to breathe new life into the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and make it the envy of the state.
“I am basing my entire campaign on these pillars,” he says. Here’s a shortened version of each of Kontra’s key positions:
His first priority is to attack the drug problem head-on. That means keeping illicit drugs out of Calvert and arresting pushers, of course. But he also wants to educate our youth about the perils of drugs and work to rehabilitate those who have come under their influence. “We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem,” Kontra says.
Everybody wants safe schools. And even before the recent tragedy in Texas, Kontra has said he intends to assign deputies as school resource officers to all Calvert’s schools at every level. That means elementary schools as well as middle and high schools. “Our children and their teachers are one of our important priorities and I intend to protect them,” he says emphatically.
The retired deputy intends to return to community policing. Like the old days when cops walked their beats, he says deputies will be expected to leave their cruisers to make direct contact with people in their neighborhoods and shopping areas. “Under my watch,” he says, “we will become part of the community and people will get to know us on a first-name basis.”
Similarly, the candidate will establish a Citizens Advisory Committee, a panel made up of people from all walks of Calvert’s life to discuss issues that matter. The 10 to 12-member panel will meet quarterly to talk about any subject its members choose, thereby providing the feedback necessary to help the Office improve. That’s why his campaign slogan is “Of the People, For the People,” he explains.
Hire the best and brightest recruits, including women and people of color, by conducting full and complete background checks. For example, investigators will go beyond references by talking with an applicant’s neighbors. And they will make in-person visits to former employers.
Too many deputies have become involved in alcohol-related auto accidents. This will not be tolerated if Kontra wins the election. Violations will not be swept under the rug and dismissed without consequences, he promises.
For the complete version of these and other position papers, click on the “Where I Stand” tab at www.craigkontraforsheriff.com
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