Thursday, December 22, 2016

SMCSO Correctional Officer Selected for Governor’s Crime Prevention Award

On December 13, 2016, Correctional Officer First Class Kristie Ardire became the second officer at the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office to be selected for a prestigious Governor’s Crime Prevention Award. The Governor’s Crime Prevention Awards recognize those law enforcement and correctional officers who have benefited their departments and communities through outstanding efforts in developing and implementing crime prevention programs. Ardire was honored at the 37th Annual Governor’s Crime Prevention Award ceremony, hosted by the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute.

Commending the recipients of the awards, Governor Hogan stated, “I am pleased to take the opportunity to recognize those citizens, community groups, law enforcement agencies, and law enforcement officers who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the furtherance of crime prevention. On behalf of our entire state, I express my gratitude to all the award winners and nominees for their dedication in making Maryland a safer place.”

The Awards Subcommittee chose Ardire for her efforts in conjunction with a local pre-trial release program. The program, established in November 2015, allows inmates at the St. Mary's County Detention Center who are awaiting trial to be released into the community. Ardire has the responsibility for making recommendations for placement in the Pre-Trial program to judges. Those inmates who are selected for the program are then continuously monitored. Ardire's vigilant monitoring of released inmates has helped to identify 111 offenders, preventing further criminal activity and assisting in public safety. 

The pre-trial release program has also reduced failures to appear in court, thus decreasing the need for additional police resources to bring in non-compliant defendants. To date, the program has saved law enforcement agencies more than $400,000, and the evidence indicates increased savings in the future. 

While piloting the pre-trial release program, Ardire also performed investigative and procedural duties related to the supervision of all criminal defendants awaiting trial. She is responsible for determining whether a particular defendant poses a threat to himself or others while awaiting trial and the likelihood that a defendant will appear for appointed court dates. 

In addition to her other duties, Ardire was in charge of enrolling 16 released inmates in a program designed to combat the growing opioid epidemic through the administration of Vivitrol injections and other treatments for substance abuse. 

“While the nation struggles with the issue of cash bail and pretrial supervision, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of CFC Ardire and the Corrections Team have been able to provide our community with a robust offender monitoring program which offers increased public safety at significant cost savings to the taxpayer. This program is being explored as a model for the State to emulate, and I am proud of CFC Ardire and the team for their ability in the development and implementation of a solution to such a national issue that will continue to yield a long term positive benefit to St. Mary's County.