Somerset Co. Sheriff Candidates Voice their Vision
WESTOVER, Md. – Both candidates in the race to become the next sheriff for Somerset County tell WBOC why they deserve to win.
Chief Deputy Ronald Howard (D) of Somerset County's Sheriff's Office and opponent, Rick Taylor (R), a chief investigator at the Worcester County State's Attorney Office, have more than two decades of experience in law enforcement.
Taylor, a former regional drug task force supervisor in three counties, said he hopes to ignite change through having a “much more aggressive drug task force,” more community outreach and resource officers to enhance school safety.
“What I would like to see here is a much more aggressive drug enforcement,” Taylor said. “The last four years, I've just kind of taken a look at that and I don't see good, aggressive drug enforcement.
“ I think we should be kind of hitting it from a uniform perspective and investigative perspective,” he said. “I'm also very concerned about school safety. I feel like our surrounding counties stepped up to the plate to get some resource officers in the schools and have taken some action to make the schools safer.”
Deputy Howard shares a similar vision for school safety and enhancements to the drug enforcement task force.
I want to increase the number of personnel to the narcotics task force,” Howard said. “ We currently have two troopers assigned and two deputies, and we need more than four personnel.”
Howard also recognizes a need for resource officers in schools.
“One of the most pressing needs we have is school resource officers,” Howard said. “We need them quickly. It's one thing I want to work with Dr. Gaddis, the Board of Education and the Somerset County Commissioners [on].”