Wicomico deputies head to Baltimore to aid in protection

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, deputies and two Salisbury Police officers, plus an armored vehicle, headed into the chaos of Baltimore riots last night, to assist city police.

They answered a statewide call “for as many officers as possible,” said Tim Robinson of the sheriff’s office.

“We are very proud to be able to assist,” he said.

Robinson wouldn’t say how many deputies went, describing it as “a contingency of deputies.”

The two Salisbury Police officers were called through the National Guard, according to Police Chief Barbara Duncan.

The vehicle is the sheriff’s office’s Mine Resistant Ambush Vehicle, or MRAP, described by Robinson as a huge military-style vehicle that will be used to protect officers.

He didn’t know how long the deputies or Lewis would be in Baltimore because, he said, the situation is fluid.

Earlier today, Gov. Hogan announced he went to Shock Trauma Monday night “to visit with the police who were injured in the line of duty … protecting our city and citizens.”

About 15 officers were hurt, and six seriously injured after protests that began Saturday escalated by Monday.

Protests were in response to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. He died April 19 from injuries while in police custody after being arrested April 12.

Hogan temporarily moved his office from Annapolis to Baltimore and said he would work from state offices there.

Monday night, he declared a state of emergency and the National Guard arrived. About 2,000 guardsmen were expected to be in Baltimore.

“Things are going to be different today,” Hogan said today.

“Today we’re dealing with stopping the violence,” he said, adding the country’s attorney general will come to Baltimore, and that he would later meet with faith leaders.

Wicomico County State’s  Attorney Matthew Maciarello, in a Facebook post today, praised the sheriff’s office. Lewis and deputies who, he said, “have been up all night having answered Gov. Hogan’s clarion call for assistance.”

“Mike and his deputies were put right to work in the heart of the city,” Maciarello wrote.

He asked the community to keep them, and all law enforcement, fire services, EMTs, National Guard, volunteers “and good citizens of Baltimore City” in their thoughts.

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