Chuck Stanford knows where he wants to take the Boonsboro Police Department, but his mind these days is fixed on the present.
Stanford, who was sworn in as Boonsboro’s new police chief this week, said the town has been keeping his department jumping, including Monday afternoon when four people were charged in a drug case that involved heroin, which Stanford said he thinks is a first for the town.
Stanford said some residents in town are concerned about drug activity and Stanford said he plans to put pressure on illegal drug use in town.
“I think we got some good information from the arrest Monday night to help us,” Stanford said in an interview Wednesday.
The Boonsboro Town Council agreed last month to make Stanford the town’s new police chief. Stanford was hired to fill an officers position in the department in February and when he took the chief’s job, he replaced Jeff Hewett, who stepped down from the position recently after seven years in the job.
Stanford knows the lay of the land in Boonsboro and Smithsburg.
Stanford was in the Maryland State Police from 1987 to 2004 and Boonsboro and Smithsburg were his main patrol areas with that agency. Stanford was also Smithsburg’s police chief from December 2007 to March 2009 and he was an officer in the Smithsburg Police Department in 2005. He was an officer in the Boonsboro Police Department from 2006 to 2007.
Stanford was Smithsburg’s police chief when Smithsburg police officer Christopher Nicholson was shot and killed while responding to a call on Dec. 19, 2007.
Stanford said he also knew Nicholson before he became Smithsburg Police Chief and they often talked.
“It was tough,” Stanford said of Nicholson’s death.
In Monday’s incident, Stanford’s department arrested four people, including a Boonsboro juvenile whose charges included possession of heroin and possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime. Two of the other people arrested were a Sharpsburg woman and a female Sharpsburg juvenile who were both charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin, police said.
The arrests were made after Boonsboro police were notified at 5:20 p.m. Monday about a wanted person who was in a white Honda in the parking lot of a supermarket on Chase Six Boulevard in Boonsboro, said court records.
Police searched the vehicle and found a stolen .45 caliber handgun and a tan powder that was determined to be heroin, said court records.
Stanford, 49, of Smithsburg, said the Boonsboro Police Department has emphasized working with the community on crime prevention and he wants to continue that. Stanford said he plans to be at the town’s main festivals so people can talk to him about crime concerns and he said residents are free to call him.
Aside from putting pressure on drug activity, Stanford said town residents are concerned about traffic problems such as speeding and running stop signs, which he will address.
Stanford said he also wants to make sure the department is prepared for future growth. In addition, there are new roads being built in the community that will increase traffic volume, Stanford said.
“I’m looking down the road (for) when would be best for us to add staff,” Stanford said.
The department currently has three full-time officers including Stanford, and he said a fourth person will be hired to fill his former position.
Boonsboro Town Council member Janeen Solberg said she feels comfortable with Stanford at the helm in the police department.
Solberg said Stanford understands where the town is now and where it’s headed and he is “completely on the right track. He’s a hard-working person and he pays attention,” Solberg said.