Gov. Martin O’Malley wants to be president; Lt. Gov. Brown wants to be governor; and Tavon White, an accused murderer and alleged member of the Black Guerilla family in Baltimore City, wants to be in charge of the Baltimore City Detention Center.
Some strange career goals for the characters in this play.
Everyone knows a little something about leadership, and often some leaders believe themselves to be great until the day arrives when everything seems to implode under their command.
As that command unravels, some leaders escape scrutiny by moving on to other positions in the bureaucracy, but the debris left behind often speaks volumes of that leader’s capabilities and shortcomings.
Public Safety Secretary Gary Maynard, a dedicated military man and corrections professional, knows the importance of leadership. And when he witnesses the obvious failures of his agency, he has to wince in agony and despair.
When he sees the leadership shortcomings firsthand within his prison system, he has to wonder what he might have done differently.
Could I have made a better selection of my leaders? Are those selected appointees fully prepared to do the job? If they fail, do I fail as well?
The recent Baltimore City Detention Center fiasco, where a powerful inmate established himself as the “rule of law” within the prison walls, is about to have serious consequences for those individuals who thought they knew something about leadership.
White allegedly was making some $16,000 a month illegally while incarcerated at the Baltimore City Detention Center awaiting trial on murder charges. He was alleged to be running a protection ring; collecting gang dues; administering punishment for the noncompliant; and intimidating other inmates and staff. And doing all this while dining on shrimp and vodka within the facility.
He suggested in wiretaps that he had more power than the warden.
O’Malley, who touts himself as a good political leader, achieved all of his political goals in the most recent legislative session.
What might voters think, however, about his ability to lead a nation when he can’t deliver an effective prison system?
Maynard, too, knows a lot about leadership and vision.
The Public Safety mission statement reads:
“The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services protects the public, its employees, and detainees and offenders under its supervision.”
Some of those vision objectives include:
The Maryland Department of Public Safety will be known for dealing with tough issues like gang violence;
We will be nationally known as the department that takes responsibility for the greatest of problems, moves quickly and quietly to bring about successful change;