Frankford and Dagsboro: Joining forces cops attention

DAGSBORO –Two towns, two police departments and one chief?

The idea of joining forces is copping attention in two neighboring central Sussex County towns.

High-level workshop discussion looms over a pitch to combine Dagsboro and Frankford police departments under singular leadership.

Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey shared an update at Monday night’s town council meeting.

“I have been approached by a member of the council from Frankford,” said Chief Toomey, adding he was not at liberty to reveal the council member. “I’m bringing it to your attention. In the past, you’ve told me to seek out if in fact they are interested. We did this when Chief Dudley left the Frankford police department. I made a proposal to the Frankford town council. When Chief Warchol left I made a proposal. Now, they’ve actually come to me to see if we are interested in a workshop if you will … putting our thoughts together about combining Dagsboro and Frankford police departments as long as it would be to our mutual advantage.”

“Are you willing to do that?” asked Dagsboro councilman William Chandler.

“Yes sir,” replied Chief Toomey.

Discussion would begin at the administrative/chief level.

“Basically, I am going to make a proposal with the information we currently have in Dagsboro,” said Chief Toomey. “Dagsboro will not lower its standard, so Frankford would have to rise to that occasion and meet those specifications for this to even be considered. I am going to do it rudimentary to start with and see if they are even slightly on board. I am willing to do that foundation and footwork.”

Frankford currently operates with one full-time member, Chief Mark Hudson.

Dagsboro’s police force presently has four officers. That will be three later this month with the July 28 departure of patrolman James Joles, who has taken a position with city of Milford police department. Chief Toomey’s recommendation to council is to hold off on filling the position for now.

Dagsboro town solicitor Robert Witsel, citing Delaware code, cautioned that a combined proposal might require a charter change through Delaware’s General Assembly.

Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey shares information on the potential pitch to combine the Dagsboro and Frankford police departments under singular leadership.

“I actually knew that,” Chief Toomey said. “And my proposal is going to be two separate police departments with a single leadership. I would be sworn in in Dagsboro and Frankford. So would all of the officers. It would be single leadership: one chief, two designators. We would maintain numbers from both towns; our identification numbers if you will.”

“The only thing is we would go to a uniform that is the same,” Chief Toomey said. “And my intent would be that we wear a Frankford patch on one arm and a Dagsboro patch on the other.”

He believes joining forces is feasible.

“Camden and Wyoming did it for years. And, actually Dagsboro and Frankford did it for years, historically back in the day,” said Chief Toomey. “Currently, they have a reciprocity agreement between Frankford and Dagsboro fire departments where one town does the ambulance service for both towns, and then the next day it switches to the other town. I think it could easily be done.”

Chief Toomey plans to put his basic ideas in writing, in terms of cost, length of contract, etc.

“I’ve already got some basic ideas that I just need to put in writing,” Chief Toomey told council. “I just wanted to know if you want me to proceed again.”

“I don’t see any harm in it,” said Mr. Chandler.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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