Major changes are ahead for law enforcement in Worcester County. The good news is there’s five full months before the new leaders are sworn in.
Although it’s unofficial because write-in campaigns, which are rarely successful, could be mounted against them in the general election, it’s practically a certainty that Matt Crisafulli will become Worcester County’s next sheriff and Kris Heiser will become Worcester’s next state’s attorney.
Crisafulli and Heiser, who will make history as the first Worcester County female state’s attorney, will be sworn in the first week of December. That leaves plenty of time for Crisafulli to work with retiring Sheriff Reggie Mason, who endorsed and actively campaigned for him, and Heiser to get up to speed with interim State’s Attorney Bill McDermott, who she defeated in the primary.
Both of these races were divisive in nature, but it wasn’t the candidates themselves that went negative. It was their ardent online supporters who acted like immature children at times while extolling their reasons for not voting for the opponents to Crisafulli and Heiser. It was an embarrassing display of irrational extremes by many of their supporters, but Crisafulli and Heiser both maintained the high road during their respective campaigns. They are to be commended for running highly organized, professional, energetic and positive campaigns.
It’s this professionalism and attention to the task at hand that should serve them well over the course of this upcoming transition period. With nothing to worry about in the general election in November, the sheriff-elect and state’s attorney-elect can focus on their future leadership roles.
Mason and McDermott, current sheriff and state’s attorney, respectively, will be critical in this process.
With Mason getting his way with Crisafulli being elected, that should be a harmonious transition period. Critical for Crisafulli will be proving himself to the deputies who did not want him to be sheriff and instead openly favored his primary foe, Mike McDermott. That will likely take time and there could be some manpower changes looming in the future that he will need to manage.
For Heiser, the challenges will be different. She will need to work with McDermott on managing the court docket due to ongoing cases as the power is turned over. She will surely institute some personnel changes to get the team of prosecutors in place she wants to work with in future years. That will come with short-term challenges, but most state’s attorneys do arrange their staff with their chosen prosecutors. There’s always some personnel changes and that’s understandable.
While the future of law enforcement is in a state of transition, as a result of Tuesday’s election, there’s plenty of time to work out a plan to ensure it’s a smooth process for all involved, most importantly for the benefit of the citizens of Worcester County.