Gamble looks for second term as Talbot County sheriff
EASTON — Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble will seek his second term Nov. 6, after running unopposed for the Republican nomination. Gamble first was elected to the position in 2014.
Gamble, a former Maryland State Trooper for 27 years, has a range of experience in policing. Gamble said he spent 17 years in the statewide homicide unit for Mar yland State Police and was the commander of multiple drug task forces.
Gamble is a graduate of Towson University and has been married for
30 years. He and his wife Mary have four adult children.
Gamble has a family history with law enforcement. His father was employed by the Baltimore City Police Department for 30 years, he said. Gamble’s brother also works as an officer for Baltimore County, he said.
Gamble said he wanted to work in law enforcement because he likes people, wants to help them and couldn’t envision himself working behind a desk. As a homicide detective, Gamble said he was able to help individuals from all walks of life.
“Helping families close that chapter by figuring out who killed their loved one, why they killed their loved one, making sure we did ever ything we could,” Gamble said. “I got really tight with a lot of those families because you spend a lot of time with them.”
Gamble said as sheriff, he has worked with the office to provide extensive community outreach. Talbot Goes Purple, an initiative sponsored by the office along with Talbot County Public Schools, Tidewater Rotary and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, helps familiarize the community with officers while outlining the dangers of opioids, he said.
Part of the outreach includes screenings of “If Only,” a short film produced by Jim Wahlberg that is shown to every Talbot County Public School child grades six through 12, Gamble said.
Gamble said his passion is working with youth in the community. Gamble has coached lacrosse at Easton High School for about 12 years, he said.
“And really, my passion is trying to educate them about the dangers of this opioid stuff,” Gamble said.
Since Gamble has taken office, a lot has changed, he said. Gamble started the first school resource officer program in the county during his tenure as sheriff, he said. Gamble said Talbot County was one of two counties in the state without a resource officer.
The office also has helped train teachers, business owners and local churches in active assailant training, he said.
Gamble said the office joined the Talbot County Narcotics Task Force, which the office has not been a part of for the past decade. He said joining the task force is part of a previous initiative to unite law enforcement agencies throughout the county.
“The year before I took over, there were only 54 drug arrests by the whole office,” Gamble said. “We’re averaging over 300 now a year, because we’re doing what we call proactive policing. We’re not just responding to calls; we’re actually looking for and trying to hold people accountable who are selling drugs in the community.”
Gamble said he has enjoyed his time as sheriff and has enjoyed the youth of the office. Gamble said when he first was employed as an officer, taking advice from experienced troopers helped him become the investigator he is today. He tries to facilitate the same atmosphere in his own office, Gamble said.
Gamble said as sheriff, he is a public face and therefore has learned a lot about local communities in the county. Speaking at over 200 community groups throughout his tenure as sheriff, he said it is important to gauge community concerns.
“Every time you are out there in the community or interacting with the community, you’re learning the concerns and the fears of the people who live here,” Gamble said. “So much of our job is education, trying to educate the public ... I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of support for our office and how they’ve embraced all these initiatives that we’ve tried in our community.”