Citizen Advisory Board

Citizen Advisory Class standing in front of American Flag

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Training Room at the Sheriff's Office Headquarters at 23150 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown, Maryland.

Application to apply for this board

Citizen Advisory Board Logo


To assist the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office by making recommendations and advising the Sheriff regarding law enforcement matters and/or issues of St. Mary’s County and thus assists the Sheriff in his responsibility to ensure the following:

  • Enforcement of all laws applicable to St. Mary’s County and the State of Maryland.
  • Management of the Detention and Rehabilitation Center.
  • Security of the Court System.
  • Service of Writs of Execution, Attachments, Body Attachment, and Subpoenas for Civil and Criminal Court appearances.
  • Protection of persons from loss of life or injury.
  • Protection of Property from loss

Board Composition:

No less than 12 and no more than 28 board members.


Article 1. NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Advisory Board, and shall hereafter be referred to as the Board.

Section 1. Fostering understanding and communication between the citizens of St Mary’s County and the Sheriff’s Office.

Section 2. Increasing citizen and Sheriff’s Office involvement in community programs.

Section 3. Holding public meetings to solicit input regarding law enforcement and corrections services and programs.

Section 4. Acquainting citizens with the operation of the Sheriff’s Office and its varied activities.

Section 5. Supporting community partnerships between government, the business sector, and citizens in identifying and solving public safety issues.

Section 6. Conducting surveys of the citizens of St Mary’s County concerning law enforcement, corrections, and public safety matters as needed.

Section 7. Reviewing programs proposed by law enforcement and criminal justice agencies for the Strategic Management Plan, the proposed Capital and Operation Budgets and specific grant applications.

Section 8. Educating the community about law enforcement and criminal justice issues, promoting respect for law, and encouraging community involvement in law enforcement and other components of the criminal justice system.

Section 9. Providing recommendations to the Sheriff.

Section 10. Reporting to the Sheriff upon request.

Section 11. In an effort to better familiarize and orient each Board member with the duties of a Deputy Sheriff, members are encouraged to attend the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy and participate in the Sheriff’s Office Ride-Along Program.

Section 1. Number – The Board shall consist of no less than twelve (12) members and no more than twenty-eight (28).

Section 2. Residency - Members shall be residents of St. Mary’s County.

Section 3. Employment – Members shall not be employees of the St Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.

Section 4. Appointment and Removal – Citizens selected to fill vacancies on the Board shall complete an application process, be recommended by the Board or its designee, and appointed by the Sheriff. Recommendations for membership shall be accepted from any source. Members who miss three (3) consecutive meetings or six (6) meetings in a calendar year without a reasonable excuse presented to and accepted by the Board Chairperson are subject to removal from the Board.

Section 5. Leave of Absence – At the discretion of the Chairperson, a temporary leave of absence may be granted to a member whose personal situation prevents them from attending meetings on a regular basis.

Section 6. Declaration of Vacancy - A simple majority of the members present at any duly called meeting of the Board at which a quorum (of at least six (6) members) is present may recommend to the Board Chairperson that a vacancy be declared for a member for cause. Cause shall include, but not be limited to, a member’s failure to attend sufficient meetings to properly discharge his or her responsibilities as a member of the Board. A member shall automatically have a vacancy recommendation made should such member cease to be qualified for membership pursuant to these Bylaws.

Section 7. Conflict of Interest - Should any member of the Board be financially or otherwise closely associated with any issue that comes before the Board, said member shall have the ability to disqualify him or herself from participating in considering the issue and shall not sit with the Board during such consideration. Additionally, the Board, by a majority vote of the members present, or the Sheriff may disqualify said member due to a perceived conflict of interest. In these cases, the member with the conflict of interest may speak as a member of the public concerning the issue during the course of the matter, and his or her comments shall be considered by the Board in the same manner as all other comments by members of the public.

Section 8. Term – Board members shall serve an indefinite term at the discretion of the Sheriff and may be terminated by the Sheriff with notification.

Section 9. Compensation – All members of the Board shall serve without compensation

Section 10. Voting – Each member or his/her committee-approved proxy shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the Board. Members shall nominate proxies to the Board for consideration and vote.

Section 11. Staff Members – Staffing and coordination shall be provided by the Sheriff’s Office.

Section 12. Volunteer Status – Committee members and proxies serve on a volunteer basis to the Sheriff’s Office and are not associated with the St. Mary’s County Government.

Section 13. Sheriff’s Office Representative – The Sheriff or his designated representative shall act as the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office representative on the Board.

Section 14. Board Representation – It is important to have ethnic and cultural diversity reflected in the board membership.

Section 15. Resignation – A member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Sheriff. Such resignation shall take effect on the date of such notice or at any later date specified.

Section 16. The Board shall not take a public political position on issues involving or affecting the Sheriff’s Office.

Section 17. Neither the Board nor any member thereof may incur any expense or obligation to the county in any way without prior authorization of the Sheriff.

Section 18. The Board is not empowered to establish policy or investigate charges or operational issues of the Sheriff’s Office. However, these areas may be topics of discussion between the Board and the Sheriff.

Article 4. MEETINGS
Section 1. Regular Meetings – Regular meeting of the Board shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

Section 2. Special Meetings – Special meeting of the Board may be held upon request of the Sheriff, the Chairperson of the Board, or by any three (3) members of the Board.

Section 3. Notice of Meetings – Written notice of the date, starting time and location of each meeting shall be delivered electronically to each member not less than five (5) days before each meeting.

Section 4 Meeting Minutes – Meeting minutes shall be transcribed and delivered electronically to each member not more than seven (7) days following each meeting.

Section 5. Quorum – A quorum for the purpose of holding a meeting shall consist of not less than six (6) board members.

Section 6. Manner of Acting – A quorum present, the act of a majority of the members present shall constitute the action of the entire board, except as may be otherwise provided in these bylaws.

Section 7. An agenda shall be prepared for each meeting. Any Board member may suggest an item be placed on the agenda; however, the majority rule or the Chairperson shall decide agenda items.

Section 8. Parliamentary Procedure – Robert’s Rules of Order are adopted.

Article 5. OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of the Board shall include a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and a Secretary. The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary shall be elected by a majority vote from the Board during the first meeting in November and newly elected officers shall assume office at the first meeting in January. Officers shall serve for a term of one (1) year or until their successors are elected. Officers shall not be limited in the number of terms they serve.

Section 2. In the event of the resignation or removal of the Chairperson during the calendar year, the Vice-Chairperson shall become the Chairperson and a new election shall be held for Vice-Chairperson at the next regular meeting of the Board. In the event of resignation or removal of the Vice-Chairperson or Secretary, a new election shall be held at the next regular meeting of the Board to fill the vacant office.

Section 1. Duties of the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall:

a. Call and preside at meetings and ensure meetings are in compliance with all rules governing the Board.

b. Appoint subcommittees as needed to accomplish Board business.

c. Serve as an ex-officio member of all subcommittees.

d. Be the spokesperson of the Board on issues that have been addressed by the Board.

e. Coordinate the agenda.

f. Sign all documents regarding Board business.

Section 2. Duties of the Vice-Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson; act in an advisory capacity to the Chairperson and perform such functions as assigned by the Chairperson.

Section 3. Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary shall keep a correct record of attendance, proceedings and minutes of each Board meeting, handle correspondence, draft the Annual Report, and perform such other duties as delegated by the Chairperson.

Section 1. Committees and Subcommittees may be appointed by the Executive Committee to specialize in concerns relative to specific subject matters. These subject matters may include, but not be limited to Annual Report, Recruitment and Selection, Citizen Survey, and Community Outreach.

Section 2. The Executive Committee, which shall consist of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and/or their designated appointees, and shall report to/meet with the Sheriff periodically to report Board efforts to the Sheriff and to plan development/revision status.

Section 1. The Secretary shall keep minutes of all proceedings of the Board and such other books and records as required for the proper conduct of business and affairs.

Article 10. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the Board. Written notice of the proposed bylaw change(s) shall be delivered electronically to each member at least five (5) days prior to the date of the meeting. Bylaw changes require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board members present. Changes in the bylaws must be approved by the Sheriff.

Article 11. DURATION
Section 1. The Board serves at the discretion of the Sheriff and may be disbanded at any time without cause and with notification.