By Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor
(July 6, 2018) Matt Crisafulli rejects all calls to use the term sheriff-elect for two reasons, one of which is that Reggie Mason remains in office until Dec. 4, and the other is the Worcester County Board of Elections hasn’t certified the primary yet.
The board is expected to do that today, Friday July 6.
About 150 votes separate Crisafulli from challenger Mike McDermott, with some absentee and provisional ballots still left to count.
In the meantime, Crisafulli is back at work as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer in the Sheriff’s Office.
Strapping on the old uniform was a slight challenge for Crisafulli, he joked, as his nightly six-mile runs had been replaced, for a time, with campaign events.
“I want to have a seamless transition,” he said. “I’m going to have quite a few meetings in the coming weeks on organizational things, like looking at the roster top to bottom and thinking about putting resources in different spots.”
He also wants to learn more about the approved budget this year, so he can go about maximizing it.
“Everything is planning. Once I’m sworn in, I can go right to work getting my platform in and fulfilling my obligations to the citizens of Worcester County,” he said.
First among those obligations is converting the deputies stationed at local schools to fulltime status, and stationing marked patrol cars at the schools.
Crisafulli said he would make that recommendation before being sworn in as sheriff.
“I want to see the deputies take back the community. I don’t want the citizens of Worcester County to only see their deputies when there’s a problem,” he said. “That will tell the criminal element that they’re not welcome in Worcester.”
To achieve this, Crisafulli said he would be drawing from the road patrol division. That division would reduce its presence on the roads to be more present in the communities.
Civil paper service, another area under the purview of the sheriff, would also be more involved in the communities.
“Using resources from these two areas, we can focus more on communities,” he said. “But we’re still looking at everything.”
No changes will take place before Dec. 4 without Mason’s blessing, Crisafulli said. That’s fitting, since he endorsed Crisafulli early in the race.
Right now, he’s focused on forming a transition team to help manage his administration, drawing upon current Sheriff’s Office personnel.
“I’m not sure who will be on it apart from other members of the Sheriff’s Office, but I definitely want to include Sheriff Mason,” he said.