Death Investigation: On June 30 at 4:41 a.m., a woman heard a man yelling for help near a lake behind her house in the 11600 block of Fountain Head Court in Waldorf. She called 9-1-1 and pointed first responders to the area where she heard the man. Officers, along with members of Charles County Emergency Services and the Charles County Dive Team, arrived and immediately began a search of the lake. At about 8:47 a.m., divers recovered the body of an adult male in the middle of the lake. He has since been identified as Raymond Anthony Savoy, Jr., 31, of Waldorf. There were no obvious signs of trauma and an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Detective J. Long at (301) 609-6502. The investigation is ongoing.
“U.S. troops, their families, and the American people deserve to know when this threat was revealed, who knew about it and when.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement:
“I am severely troubled by reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as should anyone who cares for the wellbeing of our brave service members. That the White House sat on this news for months without action or notification to Congress is a breach of national security. It is imperative that the U.S. – especially the president of the United States – take seriously any threat against our troops overseas. President Trump has continually chosen to trust Vladimir Putin over the American intelligence community. U.S. troops, their families, and the American people deserve to know when this threat was revealed, who knew about it and when.”
Update: Ms. Tompkins has been found.
The Sheriff's Office is attempting to locate missing person Tami Tompkins; white female 5'6" 175lbs last seen in the Park Hall area at approximately 12:45 AM on 6/30/20 wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans, no shoes with a hair in pony tail (see photo). Anyone with information please contact the Sheriff's Office.
On June 12, Sheriff Troy D. Berry issued a press release outlining several initiatives he planned to implement immediately to enhance the confidence and trust between the residents of Charles County and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. The Agency is providing an update for Sheriff Berry’s initiatives:
· Request the Charles County Board of Commissioners immediately allocate $1.5 million of funding to initiate the Sheriff’s Body Worn Camera program:
UPDATE: On June 17, Sheriff Berry participated in a public forum with the Board of Charles County Commissioners and discussed funding for body-worn cameras. The discussion indicated that at this time the funding is not available (perhaps due to COVID-19 budgetary constraints) for fiscal year 2021. If the Commissioners decide not to fund the program, the Sheriff will continue to work toward starting a body-worn camera program through grants and other state and federal funding.
· Request additional support and funding from the Charles County Board of Commissioners to continue and enhance the Sheriff’s De-escalation, Conflict Resolutions and Use of Force training; and ensure the Sheriff’s Office continues prohibiting neck restraints and head strikes during normal arrest incidents:
UPDATE: After speaking with the Board of Commissioners, the Agency was assured funding for the most up-to-date training relating to de-escalation, conflict resolution, and use of force would be made available. Beginning June 1 (with no additional funding necessary), every officer was scheduled for a mandatory refresher course on arrest techniques. These techniques and our policies currently and have always prohibited neck restraints and chokeholds during normal arrest procedures.
· Complete a comprehensive internal review and evaluation of all use of force policies:
UPDATE: On June 15, the Commander of the Office of Professional Responsibility began a comprehensive review of the Agency’s use of force policies. The Commander will ensure our policies are consistent with legally recommended guidelines and best police practices. This review will also include our training, reporting and investigations into each use of force incident.
· Request the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Charles County State Delegation immediately appoint members to the vacant positions on the existing “Board of Public Safety” to provide review and oversight of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office and Courts in accordance with County Code 125:
UPDATE: During the public forum with the Board of County Commissioners on June 17, Sheriff Berry suggested re-instating the Charles County Board of Public Safety as soon as possible. This board, which is made up of mostly citizens of Charles County, would provide oversight of the entire criminal justice system in Charles County to include the Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Judicial System. After much discussion, the Board of County Commissioners deferred the need for oversight to the State of Maryland General Assembly for the 2021 legislative process.
· Establish a Youth Advisory Council for police and community relations comprised of youth from our communities:
UPDATE: The Sheriff’s Office is currently working with community leaders to determine the best ways to proceed in developing and selecting representatives to participate and serve on the council. The Sheriff is committed to ensuring a diverse group with the fresh perspectives and insight only the youth can bring to a discussion.
· Request the Board of County Commissioners to allocate necessary funding to enhance pre-trial services and supervision for arrested persons in our community:
UPDATE: Recently, the Maryland Parole and Probation notified the courts that they would no longer provide pre-trial services in Charles County. The Sheriff has developed a framework for a process to ensuring individuals charged with a crime continue to be provided these critical services while awaiting trial. Sheriff Berry is committed to working with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and partnering with the County and the Courts to ensure pre-trial services remain available in Charles County. These services are crucial in providing an alternative to incarceration for those are awaiting trial.
· Conduct a Southern Maryland Law Enforcement Summit in partnership with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office to discuss improving law enforcement best practices:
UPDATE: On Friday, June 19, Sheriff Berry (Charles County) joined Sheriff Timothy Cameron (St. Mary’s County) and Sheriff Mike Evans (Calvert County) for the Southern Maryland Sheriff’s Public Safety Summit to discuss training protocols to ensure the three agencies, which share the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, are teaching best practices to all staff members. During the summit, the Sheriffs decided to enhance the training curriculum for use of force, de-escalation, cultural diversity, bias based profiling and other topics. Further, each agency collaborated and discussed policies related to use of force, complaint processes, and the duty to intervene among other issues.
“Updating our community and keeping the dialogue open regarding these initiatives is very important to me. I want my community members to know I welcome any oversight of the Sheriff’s Office. I believe only good can come from having body-worn cameras and I am committed to holding officers accountable for misconduct,” said Sheriff Berry. “I have always been a proponent of providing excellence in police services, and I am an advocate for positive change as a leader who not only cares about the men and women of our Agency, but of each and every person here in our Charles County community.”
The Department of Planning and Growth Management is making changes to the administration of the County Zoning Ordinance pertaining to Temporary Signs to assist local businesses in communicating their operating status during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Starting immediately, the Department of Planning and Growth Management is offering an expedited, free, streamlined approval process for portable signs or banners to be displayed continuously until Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, unless otherwise stated on the approved permit.
To apply for a free temporary sign permit, visit the Citizen Self Service Portal to create an account or to sign in at https://land.CharlesCountyMD.gov/EnerGov_Prod/SelfService#/home. Once in the CSS Portal, choose the option to apply for a “Banner” permit.
This ordinance change does not pertain to commercial business properties within the incorporated towns of La Plata and Indian Head. The Charles County Zoning Ordinance, Section 297-319 F, can be found at https://ecode360.com/27248260.
For questions, contact Ms. Ashleigh Goedeke of the Department of Planning and Growth at GoedekeA@CharlesCountyMD.gov or 301-645-0632. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
HELP NEEDED LOCATING CRITICAL MISSING MAN: Charles County Sheriff’s detectives are seeking the public’s help in locating Charles Paul Midnight, 76, of Waldorf who was reported missing on June 25 at 12 p.m. Mr. Midnight was last seen leaving his residence in the 3000 block of Ryon Court. He left in a burgundy Ford Focus, four-door, with Maryland registration 2DS0602. The car has damage to the lower side on the driver’s door and damage to the mirror on the passenger side. Midnight is 5’9”, 170 lbs., and was wearing a purple short-sleeve polo style shirt, black jeans, and black slip-on shoes. He walks with a limp on his right side. A family member indicated he has dementia and may be headed to North Carolina, where he once lived. Midnight does not have a cell phone with him. Detectives are pursuing leads and ask that anyone with information regarding Midnight’s whereabouts call Detective E. Weaver at 301-609-6571 or the non-emergency line at (301) 932-2222. The investigation is continuing