Cumberland Times-News

Letters

February 10, 2014

NBCI officers losing confidence in management

The recent firing of North Branch Correctional Institution Warden Bobby P. Shearin has shaken the confidence of correctional officers in high level managers at the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Officers at the maximum security NBCI perform a particularly dangerous and necessary job. The vast majority of NBCI officers had faith in Warden Shearin to support measures providing the highest possible level of safety, both for officers and for inmates.

After an unprecedented spike in assaults, resulting in 15 officers assaulted in one month late last year, union members called for the resignations of North Region Executive Director Jon Galley, North Region Director Rod Sowers and Deputy Secretary James Michael Stouffer as well as security staff directly responsible for security lapses; we did not call for the firing of Warden Shearin.

And we did not because we believed the warden had our back. Officers and inmates were made more safe by his decisions to place the facility on lockdown when credible intelligence of threats of violence existed.

The press spokesperson for DPSCS recently told media the state made the change “in order to move more quickly to restoring the prison to normal operations.”

Does a return to normal operations mean the level of operations that made 15 officer assaults in a month possible? Does this “return to normal” mean not using lockdowns to improve safety for officers and inmates?

Officers believe that the highest level of DPSCS management seems much more interested in obtaining national accreditation from outside Maryland entities that cost taxpayers money than in maintaining safety and security for officers and inmates.

The Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services can significantly direct the Maryland Correctional Training Commission which sets standards for Maryland prisons.

We do not need to spend our taxpayer money on an outside Maryland entity to achieve national standards when the Secretary already has the power to achieve them for free by setting our standards to national accreditation standards for free.

Officers have been told at all roll call meetings to be ready for change because it is coming, but no description of what that change is has been detailed.

We can already read the writing on the wall based on the change the state has made: Decreased security measures which could lead to another spike in inmate and staff assaults.

I am a correctional officer at NBCI and president of AFSCME Local 898.

Jeff Grabenstein

Cumberland

 

1
Text Only
Letters
  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014

  • Citizens should be more ready to deal with power failures

    An open letter to the electrical power companies in West Virginia and Maryland:
    The return of electrical power to my home recently, after its unexpected failure for approximately 48 hours, as a result of such a sudden and violent storm, reminded me anew of how much I take for granted.

    July 14, 2014

  • Scare tactics, misinformation abound regarding marijuana

    In response to Frank J. Clark’s well intentioned letter, “Don’t be too quick to legalize marijuana use,” July 10 Times-News), I believe that his letter misses the point of legalizing and regulating marijuana.

    July 12, 2014

  • Trading dollars for nickels just doesn’t make any sense

    Thank you for providing an opportunity for comments on the 2014 draft of the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

    July 10, 2014

  • Don’t be too quick to legalize marijuana use

    Perhaps our society should consider some facts before jumping on the bandwagon for legalizing recreational marijuana use.

    July 9, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads