Middletown, LFCC police to sign mutual aid pact

Gary W. Benedict

MIDDLETOWN – The Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to allow Police Chief Gary Benedict and his department to enter into an agreement with Lord Fairfax Community College that would formalize the police departments assisting each other and enforcing laws in each jurisdiction.

Benedict says the two departments already assist each other, as allowed by state code, when needed. The mutual aid agreement would lay out expectations and make it easier to help each other.

“It is not our intent to go onto campus and start looking for speeders nor will Lord Fairfax police do so in Middletown,” Benedict said.

This agreement, once signed by the college, will allow both departments to make arrests when needed in each other’s jurisdictions or take action when a crime or dangerous situation is unfolding.

Benedict cited this example: if a police officer walked into an area business, say to get a cup of coffee, and came upon an armed robbery taking place.

“He does not have to think ‘Oh well, I will go back to campus,” Benedict said.

They would need to notify the police chief of each department as soon as possible.

When working together, the agreement details how logistically the assistance will work, such as what channels communications will occur on.

Middletown’s police department is made up of the chief, two road patrol officers, a detective and an assistant.

Lord Fairfax Community College police department has two full time officers, six part time police officers and two part time security officers, according to Sally Voth, media relations for the school.

Benedict has also been in talks with Middletown’s Elementary School about safety.

“This is the Frederick County Sheriff’s jurisdiction but most (of the) time we are going to be closer,” he said.

Benedict and his department talked with school officials to get an understanding of the school’s policies as well as walked around the school to learn its floor plan and layout. They also obtained a map of the layout in case they are first to arrive in an emergency.