SNOW HILL – Local officials and law enforcement officers from throughout the state gathered Monday to watch as new Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli was sworn into office.
Crisafulli, who defeated Mike McDermott, Scott Bernal and George Truitt in this year’s election, was installed as sheriff in front of a standing-room only crowd at the courthouse in Snow Hill Dec. 3. Mark Titanski was sworn in as Crisafulli’s chief deputy.
Crisafulli, who replaces the retiring Reggie Mason, called the experience humbling and thanked those who’d supported him in his bid to become sheriff.
“Words cannot truly express how excited and energized I am for the future of our Worcester County Sheriff’s Office,” Crisafulli said. “I am ready to begin this new adventure in my career right here with all of you. Today is about us. We will work together. Together we will endeavor to make our Worcester County Sheriff’s Office better tomorrow than it is today.”
Republican Crisafulli, who was endorsed by Mason, is well known throughout the community for the years he spent leading the county’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. Superintendent Lou Taylor offered his thanks to Crisafulli at the start of Monday’s ceremony.
“Many of our parents and kids who are now adults trust and believe in what you’re going to be as sheriff,” he said.
Taylor said Crisafulli had been a “Worcester County guy” since he joined the sheriff’s office.
“What I’ve been able to see for Matt is that he cares,” he said. “He truly cares about the people, our young people in particular, who I get to observe each and every day, and I know today that I feel confident as superintendent of schools that he will continue to do that, not only for the young people presently but for all our citizens in Worcester County.”
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis also spoke Monday. He advised Crisafulli that his life would forever change after he was sworn in.
“With your swearing in you’ll be honoring the legacies of sheriffs Chuck Martin and Reggie Mason who for the past 24 years have protected the great citizens of Worcester County,” Lewis said. “You now join an elite group of elected sheriffs who have been blessed, and I do mean blessed, to serve in this capacity since 1742 here in Worcester County.”
Lewis pledged to continue to work closely with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s important we recognize the badge of our office as a symbol of public faith and accept it as a public trust to be held so long as we are true to the ethics of our law enforcement profession,” Lewis said. “Today’s investiture is not only ceremonial it’s officially a new beginning. For you, your family, your chief deputy and your wife. You’re following the footsteps of distinguished men that have held this position as sheriff of Worcester County while working tirelessly to establish a strong tradition of honorable service to our citizens and to the citizens of the great state of Maryland. It must be your firm intention to keep that tradition alive and well and I know you will.”
Lewis also addressed Titanski.
“Mark, no other position in the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office will be more important to your sheriff than the one you are about to assume,” he said. “The position of chief deputy will be critically important to the success of this office and ultimately to the legacy of your sheriff. It will be your job to instill within the men and women the importance of 21st century policing.”
After Titanski and Crisafulli were officially sworn in, the new sheriff told the crowd that dreams could come true.
“I truly believe that we can do anything we set our minds to as long as we work hard, stay true to ourselves and remain optimistic through adversity,” he said. “When we dream together, learn together and work together we can accomplish anything together.”
Crisafulli thanked his family and referenced his father, whose short life he said led him on the path to becoming sheriff. He also expressed his appreciation for his supporters.
“I thank everyone who supported me and guided me along the way,” he said. “Your presence today is the greatest gift that I could ever receive. I love you all.”