If elected, David L. Catrino said he will bring "an evolution of sorts" to the office and address burgeoning problems of gangs, gambling and drugs.
"I think we have a dynamic change happening in our county," Catrino said. "And I certainly think we have some other issues coming that will need some outside-of-the-box thinking."
Carroll Overholt, Reggie T. Mason and Bobby Brittingham are also running for the job.
A 20-year law enforcement veteran, Catrino currently works as an officer for the Snow Hill Police Department and owns two businesses, the Crab Stop on 15th Street in Ocean City and several stand-alone ATMs in local restaurants and hotels. The combination creates a varied experience, Catrino said, one that he thinks will serve him well leading the Sheriff's Office.
"I come from a law enforcement background, but I'm also in business, so I understand budgets and man power and scheduling," he said. "I think I bring a dynamic there that can bring business, police and the community together working in partnership."
Catrino spent most of his law enforcement career with the Ocean City Police Department and left amid some turmoil in 2007. He is now involved in a wrongful termination suit with the town, claiming that he was inappropriately fired after leaving his post just before the end of his shift to attend to a problem resulting from his diabetes. The case is working its way through federal court.
Catrino said the situation should have no effect on his ability to work with the Ocean City Police Department if he is elected.
Once in the Sheriff's Office, Catrino said he would focus his efforts on accountability of the department, scheduling, community involvement and combating drugs, something he cites as a major problem in the county. In particular, he plans to take a proactive approach to law enforcement through an intelligence-led policing model.
In short, he said, "It approaches police work from a proactive stance, as opposed to a ride-around reactive stance, and I think it better serves our communities."
"Intelligence-led policing makes use of near real-time data collection to allow commanders to respond to the dynamic conditions of crime," Catrino said.