Bounds running for third term as Caro­line sher­iff

Times-Record - - NEWS - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­[email protected]­o­line­times­record.com

DEN­TON — Caro­line County Sher­iff Randy Bounds is seek­ing a third term in of­fice in this year’s election.

Bounds, a Repub­li­can, has served as Caro­line County’s sher­iff since 2010. He ran un­op­posed in June’s pri­mary election and faces Demo­cratic chal­lenger Steven Bid­dle in the gen­eral election.

He has been en­dorsed by Gov. Larry Ho­gan and the Bay Area As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors.

“I’ve been hon­ored to work with the men and women of the sher­iff’s of­fice, and I hope to serve an­other four years with them,” Bounds said. “We have ac­com­plished much, but there are still chal­lenges on the hori­zon.”

Bounds re­tired as a lieu­tenant from the state po­lice in 2008. Dur­ing his 28 years with the state po­lice, he served in areas through­out Mary­land, with as­sign­ments in pa­trol, crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, avi­a­tion, and crim­i­nal and drug en­force­ment.

When he re­tired, he was com­man­der of the Drug En­force­ment Divi­sion’s East­ern Region, re­spon­si­ble for state po­lice, al­lied and civil­ian drug task forces in eight East­ern Shore coun­ties.

After two years as as­sis­tant direc­tor of the Caro­line County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices’ Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Divi­sion, in 2010, Bounds suc­cess­fully ran for his first term as Caro­line County sher­iff. In 2014, he won a sec­ond term.

Bounds said when he first in­ter­viewed with the state po­lice nearly 40 years ago, he said he wanted to go into law en­force­ment be­cause he wanted to help peo­ple.

“That’s still true to­day,” Bounds said. “My job re­volves around help­ing peo­ple.”

Bounds said he is proud of many of the sher­iff’s of­fice’s achieve­ments dur­ing his first two terms.

Work­ing with the Caro­line County com­mis­sion­ers, the of­fice has added five more deputy po­si­tions in the past three bud­get cy­cles, and in the most re­cent bud­get, em­ploy­ees got their first step raise in 11 years, more im­por­tant than ever to re­tain good of­fi­cers.

Bounds said he is work­ing on a four-year plan to fully catch up on the pay scale, which he plans to present soon to the com­mis­sion­ers.

A new train­ing cen­ter was built at the site of a for­mer land­fill, Bounds said, with a range for an­nual qual­i­fi­ca­tions and a class­room.

The in­tern pro­gram has trained 13 stu­dents from both county high schools and Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, Bounds said, the ma­jor­ity of which have gone on to pur­sue suc­cess­ful ca­reers in law en­force­ment or re­lated fields. One of those in­terns, Am­ber Tham­bert, re­cently was pro­moted to de­tec­tive in the sher­iff’s of­fice.

Bounds said school safety is and will con­tinue to be a top pri­or­ity. School re­source of­fi­cers are as­signed to ev­ery sec­ondary school and the only el­e­men­tary school in the county in a town with­out its own po­lice force.

For their work to­gether on the school re­source of­fi­cer pro­gram, Bounds and Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent for Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ser vices Mil­ton Nagel re­cently re­ceived the School Safety Su­per­in­ten­dent and Law En­force­ment Ex­ec­u­tive of the Year Award from the Mary­land Cen­ter for School Safety.

“School safety en­hance­ment is para­mount and will con­tinue to be go­ing for­ward,” Bounds said.

Also among the top pri­or­i­ties is ad­dress­ing the opi­oid ad­dic­tion epi­demic.

“The opi­oid cri­sis is like noth­ing we’ve seen be­fore,” Bounds said. “We can­not just ar­rest our way out.”

Bounds said he will con­tinue to take a com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach, work­ing with preven­tion, treat­ment and men­tal health providers, and trav­el­ing ex­ten­sively to talk to other or­ga­ni­za­tions, schools and churches to build aware­ness.

“We’ve worked re­ally hard to try to get the word out there,” Bounds said, not­ing the suc­cess of the re­cent in­au­gu­ral Caro­line Goes Pur­ple ef­fort in Septem­ber.

The sher­iff’s of­fice also has ex­panded its crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion divi­sion, im­ple­mented a fire po­lice pro­gram and added three more K-9 of­fi­cers to its ranks, in­clud­ing two drug-de­tect­ing dogs and a blood­hound, thanks to var­i­ous grants.

In his first nearly eight years in of­fice, Bounds has also over­seen the re­build­ing of the of­fice’s fleet of ve­hi­cles and added cam­eras to the cars, to gather more ev­i­dence dur­ing traf­fic stops.

The sher­iff’s of­fice also has an ac­tive pres­ence on­line to fur­ther con­nect to the com­mu­nity, reg­u­larly up­dat­ing its so­cial me­dia pages and im­ple­ment­ing a fea­ture to al­low the pub­lic to search crime records by area.

All of this, Bounds said, was ac­com­plished while main­tain­ing a flat $3.8 mil­lion per year bud­get.

If re-elected, Bounds said he looks for­ward to con­tinue work­ing with the com­mis­sion­ers and all al­lied agen­cies in the county.

RANDY BOUNDS

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