Crisafulli Cruises To 2nd Term As Sheriff

Crisafulli Cruises To 2nd Term As Sheriff
Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli, center, is pictured at the Showell Elementary School polling site with volunteers and Commissioner Chip Bertino, third from left; Senator Mary Beth Carozza, third from right; and Board of Education member Nate Passwaters, second from right. Submitted Photo

SNOW HILL – Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli will serve another term following a strong show of voter support in Tuesday’s primary election.

Crisafulli, who was elected to his first term in 2018, defeated challenger Jeffrey Buhrt in Tuesday’s primary. Crisafulli received 4,523 votes while Buhrt received 663 votes.

“I was very happy with the results,” Crisafulli said. “I have worked diligently to be very receptive to the needs of our county residents. Our residents spoke and I am extremely pleased with the results, based on the amount of work that my team puts in to ensure the safety of Worcester County.”

Crisafulli, known well for his years as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor, narrowly defeated Mike McDermott in 2018 to take on the position of sheriff. In this year’s election, however, he cruised to an easy win over opponent Buhrt, receiving more than 87% of votes.

Crisafulli said this week his goal for the next four years is to continue to provide the safety and services residents and visitors expect.

“To accomplish this task, we have to be competitive with salaries,” he said. “Other local agencies are increasing their pay structure, therefore attracting personnel. This will be a fluid process, working with our county commissioners to get our pay structure commensurate with allied agencies. This will take cooperation and work with our county commissioners, moving forward. We appreciate their partnership with us in being part of the solution of keeping Worcester County a safe and attractive location for families and visitors. This partnership is critical for us to be able to attract additional staffing and the maintenance of our current personnel.”

He said another component of protecting Worcester County was supporting the deputies who had their boots on the ground on a daily basis.

“We are moving forward and strengthening our peer support program and providing the necessary mental health resources for our deputies to utilize to help them navigate through critical incidents,” Crisafulli said. “This is also a fluid process and we will continue to adapt, learn, and provide the necessary resources to our deputies, so that they are responding appropriately to all matters that they encounter.”

Crisafulli said as it has been, school safety remains a key priority for his administration.

“We not only have deputies in our schools, but we will also be partnering with local agencies, such as Hardwire, to harden the target per se,” he said. “To further layer the protection of our children as they are garnering their educations. We need to continue to partner with our schools and local agencies to help maximize our children’s learning potential by providing safe learning.”

Crisafulli acknowledged that along with these goals, his office will be ensuring it is complying with the additional laws from the state.

“There are several areas where training will be required, such as the changes in use of force statewide,” he said. “This will have a fiscal component, also a manpower component as training takes our resources out of critical areas such as our courts, schools and our field services. We will have to adapt, plan and deliver on these changes to maintain compliance with the Maryland Police Training Commission. We are also implementing the body-worn camera program. This will take time to implement, assess, and correct issues as we navigate this new component of our responsibilities.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.