Is Sheriff Jenkins having trouble managing the sheriff’s department?
Some Frederick County deputies seem to think so.
Retired Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Stephanie Kelley spoke publicly with A minor detail about his time working as a sheriff’s deputy under Chuck Jenkins.
Deputy Kelley retired from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department in January 2021.
She served under two Frederick County Sheriffs during her 20-year career with the department.
This article aims to provide Frederick County residents with a critical insight into Sheriff Chuck Jenkins’ management style, as told firsthand by a retired deputy.
Stephanie Kelley’s career before working under Sheriff Jenkins
Deputy Kelley began her career as a 911 dispatcher in Loudon County, Virginia.
Kelley graduated from the Frederick City Police Academy in May 2001.
She was the first female FCSO Training Academy graduate to receive an academic achievement award.
Kelley was a patrol deputy for 14 years.
She chose to stay on patrol to “do police work,” she said, not “sit behind a desk.”
The technology aversion of the future sheriff
Deputy Kelley was assigned to the Investigations Unit for a 30-day probationary period in 2006, around the same time Sheriff Jenkins first ran for sheriff.
Kelley and Jenkins worked in the same office for a time.
Chuck Jenkins was quick to share his plans for the department if voters elected him at the time.
Deputy Kelley recalls a conversation she had in 2006 with Jenkins when they worked together in the same office.
She remembers Jenkins telling her that he would remove the mobile data terminals (aka laptops) in the sheriff’s cruisers as his first act as sheriff.
“Pen and paper” was superior to computers, Kelley remembers telling Jenkins.
Political reprisals by Sheriff Jenkins
Deputy Kelley recalls that Sheriff Jenkins was deeply political – so much so that he used his position as sheriff to retaliate against his political enemies.
In 2006, Jenkins narrowly won a 4-way primary for sheriff.
Kelley recalls that Jenkins was irritated at the time by a few sheriff’s deputies campaigning for his political opponents.
Here’s what she remembers:
Two sheriff’s deputies – Dave Dewees and Ron Hibbard – quickly found themselves at the mercy of Chuck Jenkins’ wrath.
Then something happened, Kelley recalled.
Dewees was at a Frederick County shooting range when another deputy inadvertently grabbed his patrol rifle and carried him home.
This incident, she said, turned into an internal affairs (IA) investigation.
Dewees was cleared of the charges and the investigation was resolved in his favor.
Kelley recalls that Deputy Dewees was almost barred from testifying in court following the allegations.
Deputy Kelley alleges that Jenkins used the shooting range incident as an opportunity to retaliate against Dewees.
She recalled Jenkins also targeting Frederick County Sheriff’s Captain Ron Hibbard for his political activities.
What caught Jenkins’ attention on Hibbard?
Hibbard was supporting one of Jenkins’ political challengers, Kelley said.
Kelley, however, does not recall the events of the incident.
Although at one point, she said, Hibbard was suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation.
According to Kelley, Jenkins had learned that Hibbard had been spotted playing golf during his suspension from the department.
Jenkins quickly rescinded Hibbard’s suspension, Kelley said, forcing Hibbard to return to duty, pending an internal affairs investigation.
Incidentally, Captain Hibbard is a listed defendant in Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy Amanda Ensor’s lawsuit against Jenkins.
Saluting Sheriff Jenkins
Deputy Kelley recalled a particular unwritten bylaw widely known throughout the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department.
deputies to have to vague to Sheriff Jenkins if they see him driving.
A minor detail verified that there is no official Sheriff’s Department policy requiring deputies to salute the sheriff if they see him driving.
Kelley said she remembered this unwritten department policy because Jenkins once claimed that Kelley refused to greet him when she saw the sheriff driving.
She said her department supervisor verbally reprimanded her for not greeting Jenkins.
Frederick County Sheriff’s Department Internal Investigations
Kelley said she was transferred to the Investigations Department in 2014.
In 2018, she joined the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The ICAC task force operation was formalized in December 2020 with a memorandum signed by Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.
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Stay tuned for the next article featuring retired Sheriff’s Deputy Stephanie Kelley.
Eric is a former Frederick County Republican Club and Frederick County Republican Central Committee officer from 2015-2018. Former guest host on WFMD and showrunner on WTHU. Passionate gardener and food curator. Graduated from libertarianism to anarchism because the level of corruption in the state forces us to start from scratch.