Candidate Survey: Mike McDermott for Worcester County Sheriff

Mike McDermott


Office Sought and District
Sheriff of Worcester County

Degree in Criminal Justice from Wake Technical College Raleigh, NC

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36 year Law Enforcement career-currently a Commander with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office

Political Experience
Prior Delegate to the MD General Assembly; Prior Mayor for Pocomoke City, MD. I also served with honor as the Chief of Police for the Town of Snow Hill, MD.


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Why are you running for office?
I want to provide the citizens and visitors of Worcester County with professional law enforcement along with a safe environment in which to raise their families, conduct their business, or enjoy the beach. After 36 years of providing leadership driven results and commanding every division within our Sheriff’s Office, I have a full perspective and grasp on the requirements and demands of the job. My connections formed through years of partnering with allied agency leaders, my vast budgetary experience as a mayor, and my relationship with Governor Hogan and the General Assembly have provided me with a well rounded skill set. I know how to set realistic budgetary and operational goals while providing vision for a staff of 120 that includes preparing tomorrows leaders. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has been a significant part of mine and my families life for over 3 decades, and we see this as one of the best ways where I can can continue my public service in an area where I can have the most positive impact on the lives of others.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
I have many historic figures who have helped form my views on politics and governing. President Ronald Reagan, for his conservative values and unapologetic ways of communicating American Exceptionalism and the “Can Do” patriotic spirit that has always served to guide this country. Just before I was sworn in as a Delegate in the MD General Assembly in 2011, I found the plaque marking the location in the old Senate Chamber where General Washington stood and surrendered his Commission to the new congress. At a time when many wanted him to rule and were prepared to anoint him “King”, he resisted the urge and truly delivered to us our republic. His is the model for how the authority of government should always operate. Perhaps I admire my grandfather, an elected mayor of Lawndale, California more than any other. He showed me how to care about people without making excuses for bad behavior. He understood authority, yet he never ruled with an iron fist. He always made time for a young man who would, one day, grow into a man who would always use him as his heading for true north on life’s compass.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I have enjoyed studying books covering the Inaugural speeches of our presidents. I like to see their vision and view of country’s state of affairs as they saw it at the time, and the direction they wanted to travel. Ronald Reagan: An American Life, which provided a great overview of his life and how it shaped him for the future. Mark Levin: Liberty and Tyranny, which is truly and educational read defining the many challenges we face as Americans if we are to retain the liberties which were so dearly purchased and secured by those who have gone before us.

What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
To increase the safety, and security of the families, businesses, and visitors who call Worcester County “home” for a day or a lifetime. To bring accountability and professionalism to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office through audits of our operations, our funding, our asset allocations, and staff to insure that we are providing and achieving our short and long term goals. To serve with honor and distinction and require the same of my staff.

What is the biggest issue facing your county?
We have many, but insuring that we have trained crime scene technicians available 24/7 must be included on the list. The same is true for dedicated resources to address Child Exploitation and Child Predator crimes which are happening right here on the eastern shore. We must do more in the current opioid crisis and that includes making our Office a primary entry point for those seeking to participate in the Angel Project being administered through the Worcester Warriors. Further, we must address the professional development of our junior officers and future leaders. This must include accessing the FBI National Academy and embracing the development of those who must take us to the next level in serving the citizens of our county.

What is your position on taxes and spending?
I have always advocated living within one’s means. Often times, revenues are sufficient for government, but their allocation may not be weighted properly. My commitment as Sheriff is to make every effort to hold my operational funding at current levels for the proceeding two budget cycles. Other than regularly scheduled salary and benefit increases, I will not seek an increase unless emerging circumstances prompt me to do so.

What is your position on a county tax cap?
I think the best cap is the one imposed by fiscally prudent commissioners; however, I am not necessarily opposed to one imposed by legislation or the voters.

What is your position on land use issues?
I believe that broad latitude must be provided to the owner of land. Sadly, the term “reasonable” has been abused when it comes to government and their expectations. I believe that zoning serves a corporate purpose for us all, but we must always be prepared to view potential change from all angles…and that includes, as paramount, the desire and liberty of the owner.

What is your position on public safety?
I believe it is one of the core responsibilities of government. I also believe it is the inherent responsibility of every citizen. As Sheriff, you have the ability to help people enhance their own safety and that of the public at large. Communication is one of the keys, and having a vision and plan for reaching reasonable goals and expectations is one of the best means for providing public safety. Everyone deserves the right to enjoy their pursuit of happiness without a bad guy complicating life or bringing destruction in their path.

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