Pocomoke Native Wants To Replace Martin As Sheriff

Worcester County will have a new sheriff next year, and Carroll Overholt would
like to fill that post.

Overholt, who
describes himself as a fiscally conservative Democrat, officially filed to run
for Worcester County Sheriff last week.

Long-time incumbent
Worcester County Sheriff Chuck Martin will not run for re-election due to
health issues.

Overholt and Chief
Deputy Reggie Mason, a Republican, have filed so far to succeed Martin.

A Pocomoke native,
Overholt spent 25 years with the Maryland State Police, retiring from his post
as Commander of Princess Anne’s Barrack X. He spent 16 of those years in
supervisory positions and 12 years in patrol. He has worked out of Berlin,
Princess Anne, Salisbury and Easton.

Overholt said in an
interview this week that he sees the sheriff as a leader who sets policy, and
equally important, as a leader who brings agencies together and makes sure all
cooperate on common goals.

“Crime is the
number one concern,” Overholt said.

Establishing a
child sex crime investigation task force, restructuring the local drug task
force and initiating community policing by sheriff’s deputies would be his main
initiatives, if elected sheriff.

“In Worcester
County last year, you had 88 child sex investigations,” Overholt said. “We’ve
got an epidemic.”

His solution:
select a deputy to be a chief investigator of child sex crimes, enlist the
States Attorney’s office, child advocates and medical professionals into a task
force and overhaul the sheriff’s office website to provide up-to-date
information on sex offenders in the county so parents can protect their

“We need a child
sex investigation unit. Right now we don’t have it,” said Overholt, who participated
in the search for Sarah Foxwell last Christmas. Foxwell was reportedly murdered
by a sex offender, and her body was found late Christmas Day.

According to
Overholt, the two local drug task forces need to be restructured to tackle the
root of most crime in the county, illegal drug sales. “I am a strong believer
in a multi-agency approach,” Overholt said. “We know that the majority of our
crime is drug related. That is a given. We have to get tighter on crime. We
have to go after the druggies.”

Community policing
is also a necessary change, Overholt said. Community policing starts at the top
and filters down.

“I think we need to
get out of our police cars,” Overholt said. “We don’t know everything. We’ll
solve problems together.”

Worcester County
needs a modern website, Overholt said, to provide up-to-date information on
crimes as they are committed, to provide current sex offender locations, crime
maps and statistics, frauds and scams, and answer frequently asked questions.

The sheriff’s
department also needs training on how to handle mass shootings, like at
Columbine and Fort Hood, and that training should extend beyond law
enforcement, Overholt said, to school officials, firefighters, and paramedics.

The chances of such
an incident happening here are slim, Overholt said, but no one at Columbine or
Fort Hood thought they could happen either.

He would also
reorganize deputy shifts to provide more coverage, a move that is not popular
with the deputies, according to him.

“I’m not afraid to
make some tough decisions,” Overholt said.

Another challenge
is the county’s budget woes. “We’ve got to do more with less,” Overholt said.

One change Overholt
is certain of: deputies who live outside Worcester County would no longer be
allowed to drive their patrol vehicles to and from work.

“We’re going to
need a leader and I’ve led. I’ve led in some tough times,” Overholt said. “Our
deputies and our police officers need challenges. We need a leader who’s going
to challenge them.”

Overholt knows he
could have an uphill battle in this election.

“Everyone likes the
underdog. I consider myself the underdog,” Overholt said.