LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Some critics have made statements that crime is out of control in St. Mary’s County or that the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is not doing enough to combat it.
Sheriff Tim Cameron, who is finishing his fourth consecutive term this year, said such political statements are opportunistic and inaccurate. With more than 40 years of public service to St. Mary’s County, Sheriff Cameron is not running again for local office this fall.
The sworn men and women of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office conduct proactive policing each and every day, gathering intelligence, evaluating data, making arrests and closing cases.
“We fight crime and the fear of crime,” Sheriff Cameron said. “I understand the fear of crime, which is just as important as the data.” Some critics are “playing on fear for political gain,” he said.
In 2022, the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office has investigated three murders and has made arrests in each case. There have been several other shooting incidents in the Lexington Park area, all of which are being actively investigated by the Criminal Investigations Division, with several arrests made.
The recent shooting incidents have not been random attacks on the citizenry, but rather between neighborhood factions in the Lexington Park area, Sheriff Cameron said.
In 2021, Sheriff Cameron initiated the Youth Gun Violence Task Force, which comprised of state, federal and local law enforcement partners across the spectrum. In its three months of operation, the task force quelled the rash of gun violence in the Lexington Park area. Through its work, search warrants were served on seven vehicles, 22 people, 56 phones and 19 homes, resulting in 65 arrests and 19 guns seized. As a result of the task force’s work, numerous violent felons were apprehended, who terrorized the citizens of St. Mary’s County.
The proactive enforcements efforts continue this year. “Every day, we’re after these people,” Sheriff Cameron said. Sheriff’s deputies are making traffic stops and making gun arrests. “We are doing our job. We are identifying these people,” the Sheriff said. “Everything we do is proactive.”
Community trust is “hard won and easily lost and we never take it for granted. We’re always looking for better ways to serve the public,” he said.
As of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, there were 253 inmates housed at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Of that population, 65 inmates – 26 percent – were incarcerated or monitored regarding current gun charges. Ten inmates face murder charges involving a firearm, while several other inmates face First-Degree Murder with Gun charges, Attempted First-Degree Murder with Gun charges or Illegal Possession of Regulated Firearms.
Some critics say the Sheriff’s Office District 4 Station on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park is not staffed 24 hours a day. The station, which opened in the summer of 2020, serves as workspace for patrol deputies and members of the Lexington Park COPs Unit.
“I want our deputies out in the community conducting policing rather than sitting inside of a building,” Captain David Yingling said.
Sheriff Cameron said the District 4 Station has “helped to revitalize Great Mills Road. It has increased our presence in the community. That’s a permanent station that demonstrates our commitment.”