Maryland town suspends entire police force, leaving residents wondering why


a largely unexplainable decision maryland town The suspension of the entire police force left residents shocked, skeptical and nervous.

The small town of Ridgeley, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, announced the suspension of police department officers. Ridgeley Police Department, Let other public safety agencies fill the void. But the town’s residents still have absolutely no idea why it was closed.

“It’s very concerning that they’re not communicating with us in an honest and open way,” said Laura Cline, a longtime Ridgeley resident. “Respect us. We are adults — thoughtful, rational adults who deserve the truth.”

Holly Justice, a beautician who owns a spa in Ridgeley, added: “We were caught off guard. It makes you question the integrity of the people who are supposed to be protecting and serving.”

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A sign stands outside the Town of Ridgely, Maryland, government and police offices on Friday, March 15, 2024. Ridgeley officials announced last week that their entire police department had been suspended pending the outcome of the state attorney’s investigation. (AP Photo/Lea Skene)

Last week, officials said on Ridgeley’s website that the town’s three-member board had “suspended the entire Ridgeley Police Department with pay” and that the State Attorney’s Office was investigating potential misconduct.

“It just doesn’t add up to the facts,” said Gennie Woo, a business owner in downtown Ridgeley since 1983. “Everyone is skeptical about what happened. We just want to know how and why it happened. “

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The department employs six officers to serve its approximately 1,600 residents, according to its website.

Sheriff's vehicle

A Caroline County Sheriff’s Office vehicle is parked outside the Ridgely Township Government and Police Department offices on Friday, March 15, 2024. Ridgeley officials announced last week that their entire police department had been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by state prosecutors. They have an agreement with the Sheriff’s Office to answer calls for service at the same time. (AP Photo/Lea Skene)

Ridgeley now has officers from the nearby Caroline County Sheriff’s Office responding to emergency calls, according to city officials.

Caroline County Sheriff David Baker said Maryland State Police will also be involved.

Having police from neighboring towns respond to calls for service has some residents concerned about slower response times. Some residents also said the reduction in law enforcement could make them targets for potential criminals.

buildings, cars

On Friday, March 15, 2024, Central Avenue in downtown Ridgeley, Maryland, was deserted. Ridgeley officials announced last week that their entire police department had been suspended pending the outcome of the state attorney’s investigation. (AP Photo/Lea Skene)

Crime rates in Caroline County, which includes Ridgeley, have been low for decades.

Four homicides have been reported in the county since 2000, according to federal crime data.

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Most police services deal with minor public safety issues such as lost or lost Stolen items. Other services include attending community events and supporting local businesses. Other posts include information about lost keys, credit cards, bicycles and other items that police have found around town.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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