Sheriff Gary Hofmann has created a new program in Queen Anne’s County called “Church Watch”.

| November 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

Program Initiated November 09, 2017

After the tragedy that just happened in Texas and other states over the last year we need to have a community plan. Law Enforcement consistently is training for a response to a crisis. It’s important that our community knows how to make themselves safer. Prevention and education are key components of creating and maintaining a safe and joyous place of worship. “Sadly, we have to always be prepared and aware of our surroundings. Although not all incidents can be avoided, but having a plan and being prepared can greatly reduce incidents”, said Sheriff Gary Hofmann.


The Sheriff’s office has been reaching out to Churches County wide over the past week to help get this great program off the ground. We live in a great safe community, but we should always be prepared. Being prepared is the best crime prevention tool we can deploy. The Sheriff is meeting with Pastors, Reverends, Priests, Lay Leaders and Board of Directors to make sure every church is aware of this program and that they are given the chance to be a part of it and help make Church Watch become a great success.


If you would like to have your church become a part of “Church Watch” and are not sure what it entails, the program involves a short first meeting with staff to discuss a plan, the second part is an educational program to the staff and parishioners. This educational program takes only a few hours, but creates a safer environment with our places of worship. Stephanie Jarrell can assist you in scheduling a time. She can be reached at or at 410-758-0770 ext. 1218. Together we can protect our community and the Sheriff is willing to assist your church with a plan.


Together as a community we must protect each other and be prepared. Being vigilant and prepared is our best line of defense.  It’s important that we all do our part through education and awareness, added Sheriff Gary Hofmann



Three steps to the process

1). Meet with Church Leaders to determine the need and have an open discussion about safety and the program, select a training date. (1 hour)

2). Meet with Church Staff, Greeters, Clergy and others to have a “Church Watch Training Session” that is about three hours long. All participants receive a certification certificate in “Church Watch”. Staff and a Law Enforcement will remain in contact to be vigilant in this prevention program. (3 hours)

2a) Determine if a building assessment is needed about critical plans for evacuation, emergency’s and a disaster plan. (or any part of). ( lengthy planning, date to be set, unknown hours)


3). After completion of the program (typically a week after step 2) The Law Enforcement Agency will brief the congregation on a short safety message before a mass or service. (ie: mass is at 10 am), we will offer a session that is completely voluntary to attend by the parishioners at 0930 am, discussing the partnership and preparations taken as a community to protect them.

( 1 hour)


Law Enforcement agencies wishing to participate and use this program in their community are welcome to contact Sheriff Gary Hofmann for materials at 410.758.0770 x 1218 and speak to Mrs. Stephanie Jarrell.



Category: Articles, Local Crime, News

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