White Elephant draws more wasted tax dollars and DC media tracking Bipartisan Boondoggle! St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron sent Deputies with K-9’s to Canada for airport explosive training while St. Mary’s Airport has never had a single passenger in twenty years

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St. Mary's Commissioner John O'Conner is interviewed by ABC 7 investigative reporter Chris Papst . Commissioner O'Conner told ABC 7 that he and the other commissioners don't control the spending of Sheriff Cameron. The rest of the story, is that Commissioner O'Conner is an outspoken critic of the conduct of the Sheriff''s Department and has line by line scrutiny of the Sheriff's annual budget. O'Connor has now finished that review of the Sheriff's spending, including out of county travel items, in two budgets since taking office in 2014. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY

St. Mary’s Commissioner John O’Conner (R.) is interviewed by ABC 7 investigative reporter Chris Papst . Commissioner O’Conner told ABC 7 that he and the other commissioners don’t control the spending of St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron (R.) The rest of the story is that Commissioner O’Conner is an outspoken critic of the conduct of the Sheriffs Department and has given line by line scrutiny of the Sheriff’s annual budget, including travel that funded the Great K-9 Vacation of 2016 to Montreal. O’Connor has now finished that review of the Sheriff’s spending, including out of county travel items, in two budgets since taking office in 2014. O’Conner stands between the Departure Gate, which has never seen a passenger depart, and the passenger waiting lounge, which, in nearly 20 years, has never seen a paying passenger wait for a flight. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY

WHITE ELEPHANT of St. Mary's Airport. Capt. Walter Duke Terminal

WHITE ELEPHANT of St. Mary’s Airport. Capt. Walter Duke Terminal

St. Mary's Sheriff Tim Cameron THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

THE GREAT K-9 VACATION OF 2016
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office K9 Officers Participate in ‘Prestigious’ Airport Explosive Detection Training in Canada – even though Border Patrol offers K-9 training in Virginia

UPDATE


WHITE ELEPHANT REPORT:

ABC 7 Investigative reporter Chris Papst followed up on this story on June 7, 2016, which was originally published on THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY on May 25, 2016.  Papst interviewed former St. Mary’s Commissioner Larry Jarboe, who served four terms between 1994 and 2014. Jarboe told ABC 7 that the Sheriff should not have sent K-9 handlers to train for explosives at airports in Montreal, Canada when closer training was available at a lower cost and closer to Leonardtown. 

ABC 7 SPECIAL REPORT – BENEFIT OR BOONDOGGLE?

ABC 7 Investigative reporter Chris Papst interviews former St. Mary's Commissioner Larry Jarboe in the St. Mary's Airport terminal which has never had a paying customer or a flight since it was built in 1998. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

ABC 7 Investigative reporter Chris Papst interviews former St. Mary’s Commissioner Larry Jarboe in the empty St. Mary’s Airport terminal which has never had a paying customer or a flight since it was built in 1998. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

While Commissioner Jarboe was being interviewed, St. Mary’s Commissioner John O’Conner, who succeeded Jarboe representing the northern end of St. Mary’s County, arrived to take a flight lesson. Perhaps Commissioner O’Conner realized that the only way he would ever catch a flight at St. Mary’s Airport was to fly the plane himself.

 O’Conner told the reporter that he was a retired police officer and former K-9 handler and that expansion plans under way to provide a longer airport might eventually provide an opportunity for scheduled flights to be available. That promise, hope, plan and a concocted idea has been batted around St. Mary’s County political circles for the last forty years.

If and when any flights finally land at the $3 million terminal which has sat empty for twenty years, the K-9 dogs trained last month in Canada will likely be either dead or retired.

 

St. Mary's Commissioner John O'Conner plays both sides by stressing the need for training for K-9 handlers yet claiming that since the county doesn't have a county police department, the commissioners don't control how Sheriff Cameron spends tax dollars. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

St. Mary’s Commissioner John O’Conner plays both sides in an interview with ABC 7 News by stressing the need for training for K-9 handlers yet claiming that since the county doesn’t have a county police department, the commissioners don’t control how Sheriff Cameron spends tax dollars. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

LEONARDTOWN, MD. – St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron will go to any length to provide protection for the citizens of St. Mary’s County, even if the county doesn’t have any passenger flights. If ever, any flights start up at the county airport, which has never seen a scheduled flight in twenty years, Sheriff Cameron has his plane and passenger sniffing dogs at the ready.

ABC 7 investigative reporter Chris Papst interviews former Commissioner Larry Jarboe inside the St. Mary's Regional Airport Terminal. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

ABC 7 investigative reporter Chris Papst interviews former Commissioner Larry Jarboe inside the St. Mary’s Regional Airport Terminal. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Even though St. Mary’s doesn’t have an operating airport:
“With their canine explosive-detection partners, “Filly” and “Jasmine”, they practiced scanning for suspected explosive devices in the airport terminals, passenger airlines, passenger baggage systems, and surrounding grounds of the Montreal International Airport”.

 St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Canine (K9) Officers Cpl. Todd Fleenor and Cpl. Shawn Cathcart traveled to Montreal, Canada, during the week of May 15-19, 2016, to participate in canine officer training exercises.

The K-9 search teams of St. Mary's Sheriff Tim Cameron went to Canada to training instead of nearby airports in Baltimore, Richmond or Washington.

The K-9 teams of St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron went to Canada for training instead of nearby airports in Baltimore, Richmond or Washington.

With their canine explosive-detection partners, “Filly” and “Jasmine”, they practiced scanning for suspected explosive devices in the airport terminals, passenger airlines, passenger baggage systems, and surrounding grounds of the Montreal International Airport.

Amusement Park Government (2)

The canine teams also responded to a ‘live’ call for service and assisted in the investigation of suspicious packages in and around the airport terminal.

Corporate jet at St. Mary's Airport THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Corporate jet at St. Mary’s Airport THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

 In addition, during Basic Patrol Canine Training, International Police Work Dog Association (I.P.W.D.A.) Master Canine Trainer Corporal Fleenor conducted evaluations of several other canine teams. Patrol Canine duties consist of building searches, tracking, area searches, evidence/article searches, aggression control, and obedience to commands. During the assessments, Cathcart assisted as a decoy for the patrol canines. 

Deputy taken along on trip to Canada to act as a “decoy”

WHITE ELEPHANT of St. Mary's Airport. Capt. Walter Duke Terminal

WHITE ELEPHANT of St. Mary’s Airport. Capt. Walter Duke Terminal

“The timing of this training could not have been more fitting,” said Captain Steven Hall, Commander, Special Operations Division. “Based on recent world events, the experience our K9 officers obtained while training in an airport environment will prove to be invaluable. I am proud of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, their dedication to duty, and the reputation of excellence they have earned both nationally and internationally.”

While St. Mary's County has never had a scheduled flight in twenty years since building a $3 million passenger terminal, which has been turned into office space after sitting empty for years, the airport functions only as a country club for the aeronautically inclined and for corporate flights that, for the most part, make safe landings unlike this busted bird in 2006. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

While St. Mary’s County has never had a scheduled flight in twenty years since building a $3 million passenger terminal, which has been turned into office space after sitting empty for years, the airport functions only as a country club for the aeronautically inclined and for corporate flights that, for the most part, make safe landings unlike this busted bird in 2006. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Along with Sheriff Tim Cameron and Captain Steven Hall, Fleenor extended his thanks and gratitude to the members of the Montreal Canadian Airport Canine Unit for their hospitality, especially Head Trainer Yanick Choquette. “This was the experience of a lifetime for Corporal Cathcart and me,” Fleenor stated. “The knowledge and expertise we gained in Canada will be applied daily while performing our K9 duties.” He added, “Thank you to the Montreal Canada Canine Unit for the invitation to participate in this valuable training and for our continued partnership. Also, thank you to Sheriff Tim Cameron for your continued support of the K9 Unit.”

The terminal was built with Federal funds obtained by Congressman Steny Hoyer and former Delegate John Bohanan and built by the Board of Commissioners who failed to first find a charter or scheduled airline that wished to provide flights from St. Mary’s Airport, which currently has a runway that it is too short for mid-size regional airlines. The taxpayers of St. Mary’s County have had to foot the bill to maintain the building as it either sat empty or was given Good Old Boy rent deals to groups such as the Chamber of Commerce. 

The press release issued by Captain Hall never mentioned the good old taxpayers who pay for everything including this great vacation for the K-9 handlers of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department.

Congressman Steny Hoyer held a Town Hall meeting in Waldorf in 2008 where he refused to let citizens speak until they listened to his panel of "experts" drone on about the virtues of Obamacare. Hoyer packed the front of the audience with union members brought in on buses from outside the 5th Congressional District. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Congressman Steny Hoyer (Democrat Md. 5th) held a Town Hall meeting in Waldorf in 2009 where he refused to let citizens speak until they listened to his panel of “experts” drone on about the virtues of Obamacare. Hoyer packed the front of the audience with union members brought in on buses from outside the 5th Congressional District. Hoyer got the federal funds to build the terminal for the board elected in 1998. No one bothered to have a marketing study or an airline signed up to provide service prior to blowing the tax money on an airport terminal. A proposal in 2001 to extend the runway wiith a flightpath over homes on the east side of Rt. 235 brought a packed house of residents opposed to the plan. That was the only time the terminal ever saw a crowd.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The terminal was built with Federal funds obtained by Congressman Steny Hoyer and former Delegate John Bohanan and built by the Board of Commissioners who failed to first find a charter or scheduled airline that wished to provide flights from St. Mary’s Airport, which currently has a runway that it is too short for mid-size regional airlines. The taxpayers of St. Mary’s County have had to foot the bill to maintain the building as it either sat empty or was given Good Old Boy rent deals to groups such as the Chamber of Commerce. 

Sheriff Cameron Could Have Utilized K-9 Training at Border Patrol Center in Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Border Patrol offers K-9 training as close as Front Royal, Virginia, making the two and one-half hour trip each way, a lot closer than going to Montreal on the taxpayer’s dime.

On October 1, 2009, the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Canine Training Program and the Office of Field Operations (OFO) Canine Training Program were merged to create the Customs and Border Protection Canine Training Program. An integrated core curriculum was adopted combining the best practices of the Legacy OFO and OBP training programs. Training has been appropriately customized to ensure that the unique requirements of OFO/OBP are met.

CBP Canine Program is headquartered in El Paso, Texas and oversees two training delivery sites, Canine Center El Paso (CCEP) in El Paso, Texas and Canine Center Front Royal (CCFR) in Front Royal, Virginia.

The CBP Canine Program is critical to the mission of the Department of Homeland Security: “To Protect the Homeland.” The primary goal of the CBP Canine Program is terrorist detection and apprehension. The working CBP canine team has become the best tool available to detect and apprehend persons attempting entry to organize, incite, and carry out acts of terrorism. The Canine Program’s secondary goal is detection and seizure of controlled substances and other contraband, often used to finance terrorist and/or criminal drug trafficking organizations. Additionally, CBP canine teams assist local law enforcement agencies when requested. Under the direction of the Office of Training and Development (OTD), the CBP Canine Program offers certified training based upon numerous federal and internationally recognized standards. The CBP Canine Program provides formal training for various local, state, and federal agencies. As a resource center, the CBP Canine Program serves as a liaison to the field, providing guidance for training issues, legal requirements, and certification standards.

CBP maintains a breeding program to supplement the number of suitable dogs entering detection training for the CBP mission. Working and sporting breed dogs are whelped and cared for in a variety of approved housing facilities. The puppies’ final evaluation takes place between 7 and 14 months of age when they enter into one of the formal detection canine courses.

The St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce is the only tenant and the parking lot is empty as tourists likely find Cheeseburger in Paradise a lot easier to find than this White Elephant. The price must be cheap to have the Chamber grab the world's worst location for tourist traffic. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce is the only tenant and the parking lot is empty as tourists likely find Cheeseburger in Paradise a lot easier to locate than this White Elephant. The price must be cheap to have the Chamber grab the world’s worst location for tourist traffic. Note that the only vehicle parked in the lot has a reserved parking space.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Maybe St. Mary's County could haul these empty seats to Reagan National Airport where seats are always in short supply. No paying passenger on a scheduled flight has ever spilled their coffee on these seats. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

A TSA SUCCESS STORY!  NO LINES AT ST. MARY’S AIRPORT!  Maybe St. Mary’s County could haul these empty seats to Reagan National Airport where seats are always in short supply. No paying passenger on a scheduled flight has ever spilled their coffee on these seats. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

 

 

Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and the sky is not cloudy all day.... The empty halls of the St. Mary's Regional Airport has never had a scheduled flight but St. Mary's Sheriff Cameron sent a crew of K-9 handlers and dogs on a vacation in Montreal, spending over $2,000 on motels alone, for training which is available in Front Royal or Quantico, Va.. Maryland has an international airport near Baltimore, which has hundreds of flights every day and the K-9 handlers at that facility might be willing to show the St. Mary's deputies the ropes. ABC 7 reporter Chris Papst interviews St. Mary's Commissioner John O'Conner in the building which the county gives a cheap lease to the Chamber of Commerce.

Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and the sky is not cloudy all day…. The empty halls of the St. Mary’s Regional Airport has never had a scheduled flight but St. Mary’s Sheriff Cameron sent a crew of K-9 handlers and dogs on a vacation in Montreal, spending over $2,000 on motels alone, for training which is available in Front Royal or Quantico, Va. Maryland has an international airport near Baltimore, which has hundreds of flights every day and the K-9 handlers at that facility might be willing to show the St. Mary’s deputies the ropes. ABC 7 reporter Chris Papst interviews St. Mary’s Commissioner John O’Conner in the building which the county gives a cheap lease to the Chamber of Commerce.