Ocean City Today

Worcester County D.A.R.E. officer to run for sheriff

Matt Crisafulli endorsed by former top cops Mason, Martin for 2018 election
By Brian Gilliland | Jul 13, 2017
Matt Crisafulli

(July 14, 2017) Matt Crisafulli, 43, an 18-year veteran of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office as the D.A.R.E. officer at the schools and with previous service in the Pocomoke City police department, is one of three Republican candidates to file for the office when it becomes vacant next year.

Incumbent Sheriff Reggie Mason is retiring, and has endorsed Crisafulli’s bid to succeed him. Also endorsing Crisafulli is former Sheriff Charles Martin.

Former State Delegate, Pocomoke City Mayor and Sheriff’s deputy Mike McDermott and Abco Security Officer George Truitt have also filed to run for Sheriff.

“I’ve long worked for positive change in Worcester County, and I see the sheriff’s office as an extension of the work I’ve done with children and families, and D.A.R.E.,” he said.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 as a strategy to fight the war on drugs. Crisafulli works primarily with county sixth graders to teach them to make the best possible decisions.

“Life is about choices and not everyone makes the best ones,” he said.

School safety, opioid control and seeking grants for sheriff’s office initiatives are Crisafulli’s main concerns.

“School safety is a huge priority. In 2013, the county put a deputy in every school, and most are part-time, but we originally wanted full time. I will continue to push for that and place a marked police car at every school,” Crisafulli said.

When the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting occurred in 2012, Crisafulli explained Sheriff Reggie Mason said he did not want to see this in Worcester, and worked with the county commissioners to put resource officers in schools.

“I think the biggest problem in Worcester is opioid addiction. You see spikes in other criminal activity because of that addiction. As we educate citizens and enforce laws, it’ll help bring the crime rate down,” he said.

Crisafulli said he would concentrate on the street-level dealers to “hold them accountable for delivering poison to citizens.”

To get these results, Crisafulli said he would increase road patrols, which would then lead to strengthened community ties.

These program expansions and augmentations would be tempered by fiscal responsibility. Crisafulli said he would seek new grant opportunities to pay for the programs he suggests, and offered to go through the Sheriff’s budget “with a fine-toothed comb” looking for savings opportunities, and ways to spend tax dollars better.

“I’m looking to expand the traditions that have already been implemented” in Worcester, he said.

“I truly care about our citizens, and I’ve been a part of this community for 22 years. I want to make changes that benefit all of our communities, and if given the opportunity, I’ll work tirelessly for all of our citizens,” he said.

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