SALISBURY, MD – Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello proposed civilian oversight boards for both the Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s office according to a report by Daily Times reporter Jeremy Cox. Maciarello also proposed that both SPD officers and WCSO deputies wear body cameras. Details of Maciarello’s proposal are not currently available.
As with all such proposals, the devil is in the details. The Salisbury city council and mayor could easily pass legislation to institute a civilian oversight board and require officers to wear body cameras. The wisdom of such proposals can be debated. However, neither Maciarello nor the Wicomico County government have the authority to institute such proposals. The county government funds the Sheriff’s office with local tax dollars. It cannot dictate to Sheriff Mike Lewis how he chooses to operate his office. Unless the state plans on passing such a law OR Wicomico County plans on creating a county police department, such proposals are nothing more than suggestions.
In the Daily Times’ account, the subheadline reads:
Maciarello’s push represents the most tangible action taken so far after a string of violent —sometimes fatal — interactions between police and citizens in Wicomico
This hardly represents “tangible” action as Maciarello lacks the authority to do anything but hold a press conference regarding this matter.
photo courtesy of the Daily Times