Crisfield has been named the safest city in Maryland, but that peace of mind has come at a cost. The police officers who patrol Crisfield’s streets are often overworked and fatigued due to what Crisfield Chief of Police Michael Tabor called “excessive overtime” requirements.
In mid-June, the Crisfield City Council approved Tabor’s request for $40,000 in additional funding for the police department, which will be used to hire additional part-time police officers.
“Crisfield’s become Maryland’s safest city by policing and we’d like to keep it that way by keeping up our enforcement efforts,” Tabor said.
Fatigue can be a dangerous thing for anyone who spends their shift behind the wheel of a car. As many as one in five truck and bus accidents are caused by fatigue, and every year there are more than 100,000 fatigue-related accidents that cause about 1,500 deaths.
So while the request for additional funding may seem unnecessary on the surface, many Crisfield leaders say it’s crucial to maintain the city’s stellar safety record. According to the annual FBI crime report, the city has the lowest crime rates in Maryland. In fact, out of more than 8,000 cities and towns included in the FBI report, Crisfield is the 58th safest in the country, measured by both the crime rate per 1,000 citizens and the number of crimes per day.
“If the chief wants to add more officers then he knows what he’s doing because he’s been here long enough to know what’s going on in the city,” said long-time Crisfield resident Cocklyn McCready to WBOC. “I think you always need more officers; I don’t know how many we have but we can always use more.”
Tabor said that the hiring process for new part-time police officers will begin this July.