ROCK & ROLL the DEPUTIES – Retired motorcycle cop Greg Laxton becoming spin doctor for St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department
RETIRED ST. MARY’S MOTORCYCLE COP GREG LAXTON NOW SPINING THE STORY FOR ST. MARY’S SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT FROM FLORIDA
BY KEN ROSSIGNOL
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
Just in case there seems to be a change in the way that the press releases, posts of news events, and endless photos of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s deputies posing with children at community events, sipping lemonade, or accepting free sandwiches from local businesses – which formerly taking free food from businesses violated department policy.
With a month-long gap of news releases being posted on the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department blog, the last one posted on June 24, 2023, and a report of a 16-year-old suspect charged as an adult with Attempted First and Second-Degree Murder, Assault first and second degree, Use of a Firearm in a Violent Crime and Possession of a Firearm by a Minor, for a shooting in the area of Gloucester Court in the declining crime hot spot of Lexington Park. Free hoagies for deputies from Wawa were announced on June 28.
On July 26, a media release about a grant approved by the St. Mary’s Commissioners at their meeting on July 25 was posted in a reduced format, which is unreadable and, when enlarging, the screen becomes more out of focus. There was no option to download the MEDIA RELEASE.
Until recently, there were two public information officers for the Sheriff’s Department, Cpl Julie Yingling, who quit to accept employment elsewhere, and Jason Babcock, the civilian PIO, who resigned. Cpl. Yingling was reassigned in January to work as a school resource officer in elementary schools just before she retired after serving for twenty-five years as a deputy.
There is no mention of what happened to Babcock and not a single photo of any senior officers congratulating him for years of service or an appearance with the St. Mary’s Commissioners for photos or speeches.
St. Mary’s County Administrator David Weiskopf said that until he was asked by THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY about the new PIO press relations change, he didn’t know about it. An email request to Laxton in Florida for information about more timely press releases has not yet been returned.
Laxton served in roles with the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department, previously kicking off the first National Night Out events nearly thirty years ago. He acted as the Leonardtown assigned deputy for crime prevention and all-around Officer Friendly duties, where he excelled. Laxton also worked on the social media effort of the Steve Hall for Sheriff campaign in 2022.
Greg Laxton is an accomplished music historian writing and researching old-time musicians and singers from the early days of rock and roll and rockabilly, penning an article for THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY in 2015 about Link Ray.
It is unclear from what pot of money Sheriff Steve Hall plans to pay for the services of Laxton, who is unlikely to move back to Maryland to work onsite providing media coverage for the challenges of burgeoning crime in Lexington Park. In fact, many other St. Mary’s County residents have moved to Florida just like Laxton did twenty years ago to escape the taxes and the crime.