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Director of security at Frederick County jail retires

Colleagues say Capt. Steve Snow is a man who got things done. Deputy State s Attorney Nanci Hamm worked with the former director of security for the Frederick County Adult Detention Center whenever she needed anything from the jail, from getting visitation logs to addressing issues with defendants.

He s always been the one to make it happen and make it happen quickly, Hamm said. Snow retired May 31 after 22 years on the job. He plans to travel through the Mediterranean and elsewhere, ride his motorcycle, ski, and work part time for a personal security agency.

I was happy for him … but I was selfishly sad to see him go, Hamm said. He loves warm weather. He s always got a smile on his face. … He ll be missed.

Snow comes from a long line of law enforcement officers. His grandfather was chief of police in Galax, Virginia, in the 1930s, he said, and his father is a retired Maryland state trooper. He also had aunts and uncles who were officers.

It was important for me from a personal perspective … to do the best I could in my career, Snow said. To make my family proud. Snow got his start with the Maryland Division of Corrections in 1994. He was assigned to the now-closed Maryland House of Correction in Jessup. He started working at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center in February 1995. Snow was assigned to the transportation unit in 1996 and traveled around the state getting inmates to court, medical appointments or anywhere else they needed to be. The next year, he became a member of the jail s emergency response team.

By 2008, he had worked his way up to the rank of captain and was leading the security division. He was in charge of safety for officers and the center s roughly 400 inmates. Snow acknowledged that the jail can be a difficult, fast-paced and potentially dangerous environment for the staff. At the same time, he kept in sight the humanity of the people behind bars.

I ve always told people, not all inmates are bad people. They just made bad choices, Snow said. Overall, Snow said he was proud of helping to get the jail up to date with various innovations and technology, such as getting stun guns for staff. He was careful to point out that he was not responsible for the progress on his own, but he would make suggestions to decision-makers and work with others to make it happen.

The jail purchased specialized cutting tools after Snow saved an inmate who had tried to hang herself. An officer found the inmate hanging and called for help. Snow was nearby.

I cut the sheet and got her down, he explained. He earned a 2015 Outstanding Performance Award for his role in saving the inmate. Snow considers becoming the first correctional officer in the sheriff s office s Honor Guard one of the highlights of his career. He joined the guard in 1998. He said that in his 10 years as a member, he was involved in over 250 details, including parades, memorial celebrations and funerals for police officers killed in the line of duty.

That was probably some of the most interesting times I had, Snow said.

He said he also enjoyed being part of the transportation unit because he got the opportunity to visit other correctional facilities and see how they operated. After decades of working with Snow, Frederick County Circuit Judge Scott Rolle said he would be missed.

It s a great loss … when you think of the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, that s the first person I think of, Rolle said. He s on it. He s professional. He has a great knowledge of how the facility operates. Snow would sometimes offer suggestions regarding sentencing that would help Rolle make appropriate decisions based on the needs of the defendant and the capacities of the jail, Rolle said.

He took a great deal of pride in the position he had there, Rolle said. I would definitely say that he was a perfect person to deal with those folks. … He had a heart as well.

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