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Friday, January 27, 2023

Getting to Know Anne Arundel County’s First African American Sheriff

Anne Arundel County’s 121st sheriff, Everett Sesker, was sworn in on December 6, 2022. He was raised in Edgewater, Maryland and resides in Anne Arundel County. Sesker’s term is four years. The Anne Arundel County Office of the Sheriff provides law enforcement and public safety services including service of warrants and civil processes. Protection of the circuit court, enforcement of court orders, handling prisoner detention and control and engaging in community outreach are additional aspects that the office handles.

Q: How does it make you feel to be the first African American sheriff to be elected in Anne Arundel County? 

A: Well, you know what, when I was running, that wasn’t what I was running on. I just heard other people talking about it, but I didn’t talk about it because I was running on my experience, my background, and what did I what I wanted to do for the community. So it hit me pretty much, I guess I would say, after I won. 

And how does it make me feel? I feel very proud to be the first African American sheriff in Anne Arundel County. And what I want people to get from this is that we have come a long ways. We still have a ways to go, especially in dealing with law enforcement, but we have come a long ways and for any little kid out there, little girl, little boy, I don’t care what your race is or whatever. LGBTQ, whatever. If you set your mind to something, you can do it. You just have to work hard at it, and you can do it. So, am I proud? Yes, I am very proud of my accomplishments as being a sheriff and also being the first African American, but I’m even more proud that I’m setting an example for those that come after me.

Q: Speaking of your experience in law enforcement, can you tell me a little bit about where you gained most of it and what you were doing?

A: I started in Prince George’s County because Anne Arundel County wasn’t hiring at the time, so I put an application with Prince George’s County and they called me back, and that’s where my career began. But it was just like a process. When you’re in the academy, you think of law enforcement as, you know, you’ve got to lock people up. That’s how you prove yourself. Then as you go on, you get a little wiser, you get a little older, and you realize that you still have to lock people up, but it’s not just about that. It’s about the people, especially young people and trying to change their course of direction. They might be on the wrong path. And then when you become a commander, you realize not only are you you’re dealing with the community, you’re trying to deter crime, hopefully through talking with people and speaking with them. But now you’ve got a young group of officers that are coming out that you have to mold, so now you’ve got to share this wisdom and knowledge with them. 

Q: What are a few of your key objectives that that you want to improve or make the sheriff’s office in Anne Arundel County more effective? Do you have any plans for that?

A: Well, yes, I do. But first of all, what I’m working on right now. I had a meeting today with my command staff. And  I said ‘Look, the sheriff’s office has been in existence since 1650. I said and a lot of good work has been done here, but for some reason nobody knows about it. It’s like everybody knows about the county police. They know about Annapolis Police Department, state police and stuff, but very few people know about the Office of the Sheriff. So what I said to them is, ‘We have got to show people your value. We have got to show people that you are a valuable part of the law enforcement fight in Anne Arundel County, and only way we can do that is if we engage the community.’ So as the sheriff, I’m going to lead by example. I just put a young deputy into a community relations position. She started out already. I think she’s been doing a wonderful job. Her name is Deputy Angie Hines. So that’s part of it right there. We’re going engage the community. We’re going to be at different events. We’re going to let the community know exactly what we’re doing.

Next week, read Part II, a Q & A with Sherriff Everett Sesker.

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