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Posted at 5:25 PM ET, 04/23/2010

Does Sheriff Jackson deserve a promotion?

By Washington Post editors

Prince George’s County Sheriff Michael A. Jackson has kicked off his campaign for county executive against an unfortunate backdrop: the videotaped beating of a University of Maryland student in College Park by police. If I were still a resident of my native county, I would be concerned that a county police department under Jackson would not do what is needed to prevent such actions in the future.

In fairness, this incident did not involved sheriff’s deputies. But what worries me is that this is the same sheriff who two years ago defended the shooting of two dogs owned by Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo in what has been clearly shown to have been a botched SWAT raid. Calvo has said electing Jackson "would be an embarrassment."

And speaking of embarrassments: Last year, the General Assembly took it upon itself to pass legislation in response to the incident, requiring SWAT team activities be reported to the attorney general.

That was not the first time Jackson and his management of the sheriff’s office had come into question in a high-profile incident. There was also the Greenbelt woman who was pepper-sprayed by deputies. In 2009 a jury award her $261,000 in the lawsuit that followed.

The question for voters will be: Does Jackson really deserve a promotion?

Kenny Burns blogs at Maryland Politics Today. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Washington Post editors  | April 23, 2010; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland, Prince George's County, police  
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Posted by: dcrussell | April 24, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm disgusted with the revolving door that seems to be in play with regard to today's politicians. Government officials who get caught at the center of spactacular failures, like Sheriff Jackson and Elliot Spitzer to name a few, bide their time and shamelessly re-enter the political arena when the coast looks clear. Sadly, it seems they are frequently rewarded with another plumb government post in spite of their epic failures, poor judgement, and pathetic character.

Posted by: naturalhobbs | April 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

WOW! - First, how about we spell SPECTACULAR correctly. Second, how can you compare Mr. Jackson to Elliot Spitzer. Third, have you had a one-on-one conversation with Mr. Jackson? Do you realize the amount of young professionals behind his organization and the motivation and responsibility he has given them? I wouldn't be so rash. Especially starting an article with an incident that has NOTHING to do with the person in question. Is that really how we write articles in today's society?

- A Young Prince Georgian (2030?)

Posted by: YoungPrinceGeorgian | April 26, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Yup, I spelled "spectacular" wrong, and your enthusiastic correction obviously proves you're a person with something serious to say. No, I have not spoken to Mr. Jackson, but your persuasive argument about his mentoring all those young professionals has caused me to reconsider and I now very much wish to see him promoted up the chain so he can continue to do government proud, much as he did as sheriff.

Posted by: naturalhobbs | April 26, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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