Sheriff’s deputies in Charles County, Maryland, are keeping a closer watch on the homes of some of the county’s commissioners following threatening messages on social media.
The Charles County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to postpone entering Phase One of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s reopening plan until May 29.
Those against the decision used social media to voice their complaints about the decision. Then there was a post that listed the addresses of the commissioners who made up the majority vote to delay the opening.
Reuben Collins is the board’s president, and one of those whose addresses were listed.
As he has been an elected official for a while, he said he’s used to seeing negative things on social media, but this went too far.
“I can say that’s the first time in my experience where comments were referring to possible violence,” Collins said. “When it included an actual residential address, then it becomes something that rises to the level of putting my family in harm’s way. That was rather shocking.”
Making him even more concerned is that fact that he has his 90-year-old father, his wife and three children at home.
“I can deal with the politics of these things, but when you put personal residency in play, that’s totally inappropriate,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Department sent out a message saying they have reached out to all of the commissioners and will continue to monitor the situation.
Collins said the Sheriff’s Office said they will be keeping a closer eye on his home.
He had a message for the people Charles County.
“These are unprecedented times for all of us, including elected officials, because we are forced to make decisions on matters that have never been before us before,” he said
In making those decisions, he said, he and his fellow commissioners are all doing what they think is the best for the county.
He also said while he voted to delay going into Phase One of the reopening, he does understand the suffering business owners are going through.
“I’m a small-business owner. I have been impacted by this virus. This is hurting all of us, but at the end of the day, the public health, safety and welfare of our citizens will always be my number one priority, and a delay in this matter was, in my opinion, the best approach.”
And he said once the crisis is over, the board will do all it can to rebuild the local economy.
- Sign up for news alerts from WTOP
- What coronavirus Phase 1 reopening looks like around the DC area
- Md. businesses open to limited customers as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed
- Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Coronavirus FAQ: What you need to know
- Coronavirus resources: Get and give help in DC, Maryland and Virginia