James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Police Sgt. Shawn Tyler resigned
under pressure. Though criticized for his
conduct, Tyler was an award-winning police
officer. In the photo from 2006, Tyler accepts
a State Highway Administration award for his
commitment against drunk driving from Chief
Greg Eyler. Tyler is one of only two officers
in the state to receive the award for five
(2/21) Thurmont residents will
probably start to see a few more Frederick
County Sheriff’s Office cars around town since
the Thurmont Police force is down to half of
its budgeted patrol officers.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said, “I’m going to
do everything I can to help the town of
He said wherever Thurmont Police Chief Greg
Eyler identified that Thurmont Police were
short-staffed, Jenkins would try to have
either direct coverage in town or more
deputies in the north county area.
Thurmont Police have been plagued this year
by illnesses, vacancies, resignations,
injuries and officers on administrative leave,
which have kept the department from operating
at its full capacity.
The most recent of these is the resignation
of Lt. Shawn Tyler on Feb. 10. Thurmont
Commissioner Wayne Hooper announced during the
town meeting on Feb. 11 that during an
executive session, ‘‘A vote was taken to
recommend to Chief Eyler to initiate an
emergency suspension, and investigation of a
town employee.” He later noted that Tyler had
resigned on Sunday following the executive
Mayor Martin Burns wrote on a local forum
that such a suspension was standard protocol
based on the commission’s desire to
investigate whether there was criminal
The need for an executive session came
about because Tyler acknowledged deleting
images of an assault suspect’s shoes from a
police computer against a general order.
“The pictures should be retrievable and we
are pursuing that,” Burns wrote. “This was not
Tyler's case and because he got the pictures
for another purpose he made an incorrect
assume[p]tion that the investigating officer
already had the pi[c]tures when he deleated
Burns also cast doubt on whether assistant
states attorney was prosecuting the assault
case or pursuing Tyler. Burns wrote, “[W]hy
didn't the prosecutor ask Tyler questions on
the stand so he could explain his actions? and
help try to save the case? Did the prosecutor
not ask questions of Tyler for deliberate
reasons? Did she leave him on the stand
defenseless for a reason?”
Officer DiAnne Tackett was the
investigating officer on the assault case and
she is on administrative leave from an
unrelated incident. Tyler apparently took his
picture as part of an internal investigation
of the assault case.
“I don’t always agree with Lt. Tyler, but I
don’t think he got the right treatment,”
Hooper said in an interview.
Tyler’s admission could possibly throw open
the door for re-examination of other cases he
investigated, though if it happens, it won’t
be instigated by the town, Hooper said.
“It’s up to the courts whether they want to
retry those cases again,” Hooper said.
At this point, the additional help the
sheriff’s office is not expected to cost the
town more money.
“I’m not going to charge for those
services,” Jenkins said. “They’re (Thurmont
residents) are county taxpayers, too.”