Designated by the Board of County Commissioners to provide animal control services for the County, the Humane Society of Kent County is responsible for enforcing State and County animal codes. Appointing animal control officers, the Society responds to calls regarding dangerous, will and at-large domestic animals. In addition, it maintains an animal shelter, and inspects and licenses kennels, pet shops, and veterinary hospitals operating in the County (County Code, secs. 64-1 through 64-10.3).


The first jail in Kent County was built prior to 1680 at New Yarmouth (now Rock Hall). Authorized by the General Assembly to build a new jail at a more centralized location in 1696, the County erected the new Jail at Chestertown. Replacing the existing jail, a new jail was erected in 1884 (Chapter 252, Acts of 1884). In 1985, the General Assembly authorized the County to rebuild and expand the Jail (Chapter 298, Acts of 1985). The Jail was renamed as the Detention Center in 1996.

Housing those awaiting trial, as well as convicted inmates, the Detention Center processes all persons arrested in the County. Since 1996, the Detention Center has offered programs to further inmate education, and alternative incarceration options, such as work release, community service, and home detention (Chapter 621, Acts of 1996).


The Office of Emergency Services develops and maintains the County's Emergency Operations Plan, and runs the Emergency Notification System. To ensure efficient and effective response, the Office conducts regular drills to assess the Plan, and responder performance. During emergencies, the Office coordinates with federal, State and local agencies in disaster response, mitigation, and recovery (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 14-109 through 14-113).

To ensure emergency response availability to residents, the Office of Emergency Services staffs and maintains a fleet of emergency medical vehicles. In addition, the Office staffs the County's call center which receives all 911 calls for the County, as well as after-hour calls to the Sheriff’s Office, and the Chestertown Police Department. Responding to calls, the Office dispatches and coordinates responders.


For the Upper Eastern Region (Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s & Talbot counties), the Deputy State Fire Marshal serves as an assistant to the State Fire Marshal, and is responsible for fire safety in the Region. The Deputy investigates and enforces laws regarding arson; fire prevention; the installation and maintenance of fire detection and extinguisher equipment; the availability and adequacy of fire exits at public and commercial establishments; and the storage, sale, or use of explosives and combustibles (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 6-305).

The Deputy State Fire Marshal is appointed by the State Fire Marshal (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 6-303).

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