Friday, April 16--Chief Deputy Eyes County's Top Cop Spot
BERLIN - With an eye on maintaining consistency and stability in the department, long-time Chief Deputy Reggie T. Mason has formally filed to run for Worcester County Sheriff in the upcoming 2010 election.
With the blessing of current Sheriff Charles T. Martin, who continues to battle lyme disease associated with a tick bite three years ago and will not seek re-election after 16 years at the post, Mason brings a wealth of experience and a long career of his own with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office to his election bid. He began his law enforcement career with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) in 1970 where he stayed for nine years.
Mason then joined the Worcester County Sheriff's Department and was named chief deputy by former Sheriff Danny McAllister in 1984. He served as chief deputy for the next 23-plus years before retiring in July 2007. Martin became Worcester County Sheriff in 1994 and Mason served as his chief deputy for 13-plus years before retiring in 2007.
In January, Martin coaxed Mason out of retirement to return as chief deputy for the department. Last month, at the bequest of his colleagues in the department, Mason officially threw his hat in the ring to run for sheriff this fall.
'I know I'll have some big shoes to fill,' he said. 'If the voters want me, I'm ready to do the job. If they don't, well, I'll just go back to mothballs.'
Mason said he stays in almost daily contact with Martin, who has assumed a lesser role as he continues to battle the illness, and works daily with Captain Doug Dods in maintaining continuity in the department.
'I visit with Sheriff Martin almost every day and brief him about what's going on in the department,' he said. 'I know the personnel and what they're capable of. We've built this department into something special over the years, and we all want to keep that going with somebody from the inside.'
Mason graduated from Pocomoke High in 1965 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving four years and attaining the rank of sergeant. He served two tours in Vietnam with the Marine Corps from 1966-1968. He was honorably discharged in 1969 and joined the OCPD in 1970.
Mason is a 1984 graduate of the National Sheriff's Institute and is a member of FBI Academy Class U11. He attended the Maryland Sheriff's Executive School in 1991 and 1992 and has also attended two police supervisor schools and a fire/police instant command school. He lives with his wife, Debra Carey Mason, in the community of Friendship, outside Berlin and Ocean Pines.