Dagsboro police force making headway

The need for more law enforcement inside the town limits of Dagsboro is a justifiable one, according to Chief Floyd Toomey Jr. Upcoming developments in the town, both residential and commercial, along with several proposed projects, would require coverage and service from Dagsboro’s police department — a force that currently consists of the watchful eyes of Toomey himself and Cpl. Harry Litten.

The move to bring in an additional part-time officer to Dagsboro was tabled at Monday night’s Dagsboro Town Council meeting, but Toomey is making sure the town is still in the best of hands.

“It is my opinion,” said Toomey, addressing the part-time officer hire, “among some of the financial issues we have been discussing, that this is an issue that needs to be tabled until we can discuss this further. Due to the complexity involved, it may need to be an executive session item… I’d like to wait until we have a little more breathing room, so to speak.”

The part-time position, which could potentially cost the town just over $11,000 annually, is scheduled to be voted on at the next council meeting.

Council this week also passed a resolution that would allow Toomey to apply for a grant with the USDA that could pay for two new police cruisers.

“Our current fleet is getting old,” explained Toomey. “It’s just a standard update, something every department faces sooner or later.”

The cruisers could run around $21,000, plus several thousand dollars more apiece for additional necessities, such as radios, lights and other equipment.

“It’s definitely something I’d like to try for,” he added.

With a good portion of schools in the Indian River School District under their watch, Toomey helped conduct a gang awareness and identification class last month for school administrators and officials. Members of the Georgetown and Frankford police departments were also present.

“We want school officials to know what to look for in the schools when it comes to gangs and gang activity,” said Toomey. “We already know we have some gang-related activity going on in the Frankford area. Because Indian River High School is within our jurisdiction, we need to know if there’s any type of that activity going on.”

The Dagsboro Police Department was also recently funded earlier this year through grants for their bike patrol program. Bikes and uniforms have been ordered, according to Toomey, and upon Litten’s certification, Dagsboro officers may be conducting some patrolling with their pedals, as soon as May.

In the past month, the Dagsboro department also recently obtained LiveScan, a fingerprinting system that can assists officers with criminals across the state through an intricate, prompt networking program, to quickly identify repeating offenders. The Ocean View and South Bethany departments recently picked up the LiveScan system with the expansion of their police departments. Bethany Beach police also have the feature installed at their station.

“It gives us the capability,” explained Toomey, “to fingerprint people, photograph them at the same work station and instantly transmit to the state of Delaware. The photograph is online immediately.”

This instantaneous identification not only permits the Dagsboro officers to work more efficiently, but they no longer need to leave the area to escort or process the criminal to Georgetown or Dover, as they may have had to in the past.