I’m going to say this up front – Raymond Boccelli is a highly qualified candidate for Baltimore County Sheriff. He’s a 15 year veteran of the Baltimore County Police force. While on the force, he received numerous awards including Distinguished Service Award, Governor’s Certificate for Crime Prevention, Commanders Award, several Unit Citations, Emergency Service Awards and Certificates of Appreciation. He also served in multiple capacities throughout the department. Prior to that, Boccelli served for 20 years in the US Army under active duty, serving in many different leadership roles. In terms of education, he also has two Master’s Degrees, one in Management and Human Relations from Webster University and one in Integrated Homeland Security Management from Towson University. As I said, Boccelli is highly qualified to serve as Baltimore County’s next Sheriff. I contacted him to see if he was willing to answer some of my questions on the issues. What follows are his answers.
Matthew R. Newman: What made you decide to run for Baltimore County Sheriff?
Raymond C. Boccelli: I think I can do a better job in leading and managing the Office of the Sheriff. I want to bring a new level of professionalism and integrity to the Office. I want to make sure the Office of the Sheriff is doing everything they can to increase safety for the residents and improve the overall quality of life.
MRN: What are your thoughts on incumbent Sheriff, Democrat Jay Fisher?
RCB: I am going to work harder than he has to support the members of the Sheriff’s office and put programs in place to increase the overall safety for the residents and improve the quality of life.
MRN: In 2006, the Republic candidate against Fisher received 40% of the popular vote. How do you feel the dynamic of the 2010 election will impact the vote?
RCB: This is a great year. People are looking for change and strong leadership. I can bring both of those to the Baltimore County Sheriff’s Office.
MRN: How do you feel your background helps make you uniquely qualified to serve as Sheriff?
RCB: As a retired officer of the United States Army, my experience and training have led me to become a strong leader and to be able to overcome obstacles effectively and efficiently. Because of my current position in the Baltimore County Police Department, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges and issues facing the residents of Baltimore County.
MRN: You mention on your website that you want, “The Baltimore County Detention Center should be reassigned under the responsive umbrella of the Sheriff’s Office.” Can you please explain the inadequacies of the current arrangement and how this change will impact the community?
RCB: For example, when errors in the past have occurred like the wrongful release of a registered sex offender, having the detention center under the prevue of the Sheriff’s Office would create a closed loop process from arraignment to incarceration. This would eliminate the potential opportunity for errors to occur.
MRN: Illegal immigration has been an issue prominently discussed by your campaign. How great of an issue is this for Baltimore County?
RCB: Since the year 2000, Illegal immigration has increased four times, along with a price tag of $1.4 billion in associated costs to the residents of the State of Maryland. Maryland ranks 13th in the United States for illegal immigrants. Baltimore County ranks 3rd in Maryland with an illegal immigrant population of 14.2%.
MRN: As a follow up to the previous question, how would you change the department to ensure that current immigration laws are adequately enforced?
RCB: I have a plan to put a process in place to identify illegal aliens through the courts and will work closely with the Department of Homeland Security for processing.
MRN: On your website, you mention that you want an open communication line between the Sheriff’s Office and the community. What would you do to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office does hear the voice of the community and addresses their concerns directly?
RCB: Community policing is vital to getting the message out and helping the residents feel safe. Community policing has not been a priority of the current Office. It will be one of mine.
MRN: On your website, you mention that you want to, “Ensure the safety and security of the Circuit Court facility; both building security and courtroom security.” Are there current holes in their security and how specifically would you address these concerns?
RCB: It is my understanding the current Sheriff is considering removing deputies from the courtroom and by doing this allows for an unsafe environment. Courtroom security including overall facility security is imperative in ensuring safety of the citizens and circuit court officials.
MRN: In closing, what’s the one thing you want to ensure that people know about your candidacy?
RCB: If elected I promise to lead the Sheriff’s Office of Baltimore County to be one of the safest and most up to date law enforcement agencies in this country.
I thank Mr. Boccelli for his willingness to answer my questions. I wish him luck against the incumbent Sheriff and hope to see him serving as our next County Sheriff. If you are interested in learning more about his candidacy, check out his official website here.
Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant