Cumberland Times-News

Letters

February 20, 2014

Most NBCI officers believe warden’s firing hurts safety

More than 86 percent of Correctional Officers at North Branch Correctional Institution polled recently indicated they believe the firing of Warden Bobby R. Shearin by Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gregg Hershberger will definitely make the institution less safe for officers and inmates.

The online poll (not scientific) of more than 100 correctional officers at NBCI asked, “Do you think the firing of Warden Shearin and a return to a less super-max approach makes inmates and officers more or less safe?”

“Definitely less safe” and “less safe” was the response of a combined 96.3 percent.

Results: Definitely less safe-86.1 percent; less safe-10.2 percent; not sure-2.8 percent; more safe-.9 percent.

The poll was conducted February 5th- 8th.

“Officers feel strongly that Warden Shearin’s willingness to use preventative measures such as lockdowns dramatically reduced inmate and officer assaults”, said NBCI Correctional Officer Jeff Grabenstein.

Patrick Moran, President of AFSCME Council 3 said, “Officer assaults spiked dramatically at NBCI In July 2013.

This led to a more appropriate super-max approach and that clearly cut inmate and officer assaults. Officers do not have confidence that the Department will continue to utilize lockdowns as appropriate to maintain safety for inmates and officers. The dramatic cut in assaults is the proof Shearin’s approach was working.

“The man served nine years at NBCI and neighboring WCI. And he was warden in the federal system for thirty years.

“Officers are deeply concerned that DPSCS is much more interested in maintaining the stamp of approval from outside entities like the American Corrections Association, which costs unnecessary taxpayer money than in supporting officers doing a dangerous and necessary job and the Wardens who have their back.”

Jeff Pittman

AFSCME spokesman

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Letters
  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Military veterans have few friends in Washington, D.C.

    Our legislators in Washington must stop playing politics with our veterans, this is  especially true of Vietnam war veterans. Will the game playing carry over to our veterans of present day wars? Will they too become pawns? Veterans have few friends in Washington. Just like the Vietnam veterans, today’s veterans will face
    what we are up against, little to no support.

    April 13, 2014

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014

  • New policies will grow better streamside buffers

    Well-functioning forest buffers along streams are perhaps the most effective and least costly best management practice we have to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

    April 10, 2014

  • City has changed, but it’s still a great place

    Is it better to be positive or negative? I have been reading postings about Growing Up in Cumberland, other Facebook pages, and from many of my Facebook friends. Talk about food and many people have positive comments. I love Coney Island hot dogs as much as anyone and have some every time I am in Cumberland.

    April 9, 2014

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