Cambridge Chief of Police Justin Todd gave members of the Rotary Club of Cambridge an update on the police department. The department, like many other departments, struggles with manpower issues. On a positive note, they are hiring new officers, seeing the trend turn in the right direction. The recruitment and retention processes are ongoing with hopes of getting back to full strength.
The ShotSpotter technology is a tool the department is using, along with surveillance systems, to help fight crime in the city. ShotSpotter identifies where shots are fired which allows officers to respond quicker. The technology has enabled officers to find evidence before it can be moved.
Chief Todd also told the Rotarians that community policing has become more important in working with the businesses and citizens. It is important for the people to see and know the officers. He said juvenile crime and how they handle it has changed under the new juvenile laws passed in Maryland. He went on to say, with the problems we have, we have many great kids who are doing great things. He said his department tries to recognize those individuals.
A 1996 graduate of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, Justin entered the Cambridge Police Department in 2001 after graduating from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy. Starting as a patrol officer, he quickly rose through the ranks with a promotion to corporal in 2006. From a sergeant in 2008, he was promoted to detective/sergeant in 2011 where he worked with the Criminal Investigation Division. His most recent promotion was to chief of police.
Throughout his career, Chief Todd has received numerous awards and accommodations including the Exceptional Heroism Award in 2013 from the United States Marshall Service. This is an award only presented 13 other times throughout the service’s existence.