(Updated 08/15/2013) The post of Baltimore City Sheriff, the city's only elected law enforcement position, is up for grabs next June and a city school police officer wants the job.
Donoven Brooks, 47, a school police officer, announced his decision to run during a June 23 wine and pasta fundraiser. The move for the sheriff’s seat is a move that Brooks describes as inevitable.
A graduate of the FBI’s law enforcement executive development school, Brooks says he is the best man for the job.
“I am running for city sheriff because when I looked at the current state of law enforcement and public safety in our city, I realized there was no engagement in the community,” Brooks told the AFRO.
Brooks, who will officially file this fall, has already gotten a head start on his campaign. Brooks said, “There is a clear indication that there is a lack of engagement in the community between the citizens and the current Sheriff.”
Brooks has spent more than 20 years in law enforcement, holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Baltimore City Community College and a bachelor and masters of science degrees from Johns Hopkins University in public safety management.
After serving nearly two years as chief of police for Fairmount Heights, Brooks said he prides himself on “educating the public on the delivery of services that are available by the sheriff’s office.”
If elected Brooks said, his sleeves would be rolled up and will be at the table with the commissioner and other city officials—whether he has an invitation or not. He said, ”because I would be confronted with all of the same issues that face the Baltimore City police department as a chief executive law enforcement leader.”
Brooks went onto say, if elected sheriff, one of the challenges he will face is the crime that has been plaguing the city for numerous years. “As a law enforcement agency, the sheriff’s office shares the responsibility of keeping our citizens and our city safe.”
According to the City Sheriff’s website, the sheriff’s role is to: transport prisoners to places of incarceration, maintain order in the circuit courtrooms, collect fines and court costs, execute domestic violence and peace orders, traffic enforcement and participate in criminal patrol and crime suppression details.
John Anderson, has been the incumbent sheriff since 1989, winning six consecutive terms, seeking a seventh term.
Anderson declined to return calls or emails to the AFRO’s calls or emails. His assistant said that “Mr. Anderson was away at a National Sheriff’s Convention in N.C.”
“Apparently the current administration feels like the way they’ve always done it is the best way to continue doing it,” Brooks told the AFRO. “The current sheriff has been around for a very long time, people know his name, but struggle to identify any accomplishments under his leadership.”
Brooks has held four major fundraisers and is on track to raise $75,000 by the end of 2013. He has the support of Del. Cheryl Glenn, deputy majority whip of the Maryland House of Delegates; Del. Aishia Braveboy, chair of the legislative black caucus of Maryland, and the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5.
“The current sheriff is not keeping up with the changes,” he said. “They are using antiquated processes and procedures and there is a lot to improve upon.”
Brooks said he will be committed to making his presence known in the community, by continuing to speak at numerous community associations throughout Baltimore City about public safety and crime prevention.