“Fair, honest, consistant.” Three words on which Craig Kontra bases his work ethic.
Craig Kontra has been in law enforcement for 35 years, 30 of which have been on the Calvert County Sheriff’s Department. He has worked in every bureau of the department. Kontra has worked under the command of five sheriffs and has seen good and bad programs. He has had the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t and would like to use this experience as the next Sheriff of Calvert County.
Talking with Kontra recently he said the biggest part of the job is “solving people’s problems, and we have a lot of problems that need to be solved.”
One of the biggest challenges in Calvert County is the opioid and heroin problems. He acknowledges that is not just getting the problem off the streets but rehabilitating those that have been locked up. He would like to keep the “criminal element from coming into the county to buy and sell pills and illegal drugs.” This could be done through “more thorough background checks during traffic stops, using existing technology to check from outstanding warrants and other indicators of potential illicit behavior.”
Kontra would like to get more officers into the community, working with community leaders, the citizens and the children. He feels that if a good relationship is built within a community, more of our citizens would open up to the police department when challenges arise in their neighborhoods. He would like to see deputies adopt a neighborhood. The deputy would attend community meetings, work with the local residents and leaders. A supervisor would oversee the deputies working in the community. Deputies need to be in the neighborhoods, not just on highways giving citations. “We don’t live on Route 4.”
To do this he would institute “selective traffic enforcement.” This is done by directing coverage from simply writing tickets anywhere and everywhere to statistically high-accident prone areas. By yielding to troopers much of the patrol responsibility on major roads, allowing deputies to move back into neighborhoods to work within the local community.
Kontra would reorganize to make the office run smoother and consistent. He would put more manpower where it is needed. More supervisors would move out from desk jobs to the field, where their experience would assist less-experienced deputies, and provide better coverage to Calvert County. Any major changes would be vetted through the Fraternal Order of Police, allowing officers the opportunity to discuss.
Kontra would like to see a Nixel developed for the business community. A Nixel allows local police departments, emergency management offices and government agencies to send messages to local residents via phone, email and web. A Nixel could alert local businesses if problems such as an armed robbery has occurred in the area or another county. It could also notify of major traffic problems or dangerous weather conditions.
With the recent tragedies at schools and churches, Kontra would like to work with the ministry and school personnel to develop tactical plans so if someone does come in they are ready. Seniors need to know they are safe in their own homes. Kontra would like to see programs at senior centers throughout the year to provide safety seminars and updates on county initiatives. “We need to be proactive, not reactive.
Kontra would like to see more diversification in the department. He would like to see more African-Americans and women deputies. This could be done through recruiting events, community partnerships and outreach, making the hiring process more transparent, and the use of technology and social media.
The sheriff also oversees the detention center. Kontra said the center needs a revamp. There are a lot of hard-working officers there. The jail is old and needs a breath of fresh air. Kontra would like to see a new state-of-the-art jail built within the next ten years. More programs would offer more opportunities to rehabilitate those incarcerated.
Kontra and his wife, Connie, live in Huntingtown. Connie works at Calvert Memorial Hospital. They have one grown son. They feel it is “time for a change.”
“Fair, honest, consistent.”
Have a question for Craig Kontra? You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kontra’s campaign treasurer is Richard McDowell.
To learn more about Craig Kontra visit:
Don’t forget to vote! The Primary Election is Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Early voting begins Thursday, June 14 and runs through Thursday, June 21.
Please check out the picture gallery below of some of the events Craig Kontra attended this past year!
Joyce Stinnett Baki / Calvert Beacon Reporter