The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office now has a District 3 station, although for now it is mainly being used for criminal investigations due to lack of space at the sheriff's office headquarters in Leonardtown.
Sheriff's office employees began working out of the building at 23125 Camden Way in California in June, Capt. Ed Willenborg said.
In the future, the sheriff's office plans to use the building for deputies as a regular station when a new headquarters is built in Leonardtown, he said, noting that patrol deputies sometimes use the District 3 station now for interviews.
The property, which the county purchased for $1.09 million, includes a 7,185-square-foot building that the county renovated for $1.64 million.
He explained the new station was part of a push by Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) for a community-based policing model.
The sheriff's office opened a new District 4 station at 21633 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park last year, a 5652-square-foot facility that cost $3.4 million, according a capital improvement plan document. That building was previously used by the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad.
A District 1 station in Charlotte Hall was formerly the headmaster's home for the Charlotte Hall Military Academy, Willenborg said.
District 2 in Leonardtown operates out of the sheriff's headquarters in the Patuxent Building, which is located in the county government complex. It was built in the mid-1990s as a temporary building, Willenborg said, noting that it currently also houses the treasurer's office, parks and recreation and land use and growth management departments.
The District 3 station on Camden Way was built in 2007 by the Washington Post Co., sheriff's office spokesman Jason Babcock said. It was used by The Enterprise newspaper from 2007 through 2015, said Babcock, who worked for the paper as a reporter from 2000 to 2018.
The Enterprise, which is part of Southern Maryland News, is currently headquartered in the Office Station, located at 22685 Three Notch Road in California.
The sheriff's office District 3 station houses eight detectives and four supervisors plus a crime lab, domestic violence and sex offender units, and serves as the office for public fingerprinting. Public fingerprinting costs are $15, $33 or $47, depending on the service provided, fingerprint technician Yori Ecolano said.
The county's capital improvement plan shows a sheriff's office evidence storage building to be built in fiscal 2024 and new headquarters in fiscal 2026. They would be built on a 13-acre parcel located adjacent to the county government complex.