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Our Mission, Vision and Motto

MISSION: The Carroll County Sheriff's Office will provide the highest level of service founded in trust and commitment to our Community.

VISION: Our vision is to be the safest county in Maryland

Motto: Commitment to Community

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing highest level of service to our community. For us, this means doing everything we can to ensure everyone we have contact with is safe.

Our Use of Force Policy emphasizes this, and the policy statement is as follows:
The value of human life is immeasurable in our society. Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers have been given the responsibility to protect life, using force if necessary, in order to fulfill their duty; therefore, members must use utmost prudence and restraint in exercising their authority to use force. Members will use only the level of force necessary to accomplish their lawful duties. Members will continually assess the constantly evolving and dynamic situation, modulating their use of force appropriately as conditions change. 

This statement means that we are committed to using only the force that is necessary to protect ourselves and others in the performance of our duties. Further, our policy states:
Members shall only use the force necessary, based on the information known to the member at the time of the incident, to effect lawful objectives in accordance with Departmental Policy and Procedures, State Law, and Constitutional Mandates. Situations are unique and constantly evolving, and members must continually adjust the level of force used accordingly. De-escalation techniques, as described in Paragraph D of this Section, shall be employed when practical. Members will only use the level of force that is reasonable and necessary to:

• Effect an arrest
• Prevent an escape
• Protect others
• Protect themselves

Paragraph D, mentioned above, reads:
De-escalation Techniques include advisements, warnings, verbal persuasion, and other alternatives to higher levels of force, and should be employed when time, and the totality of circumstances, allow. Members will emphasize sound tactical decisions that avoid unduly jeopardizing the safety of themselves or others.

The urgency of resolving the situation will be considered when deciding on a course of action that may involve the use of force. When the risks to the member, the public, and the suspect are low, withdrawing to a tactically advantageous position in order to utilize additional resources may be beneficial to obtain a peaceful resolution.
Use of force decisions are to be based on the level of force being used against the member and immediate potential for death or serious physical injury to the member, innocent bystanders and/or victims.

We do not train or allow choke holds.

We at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office do not take any use of force lightly. Each use of force incident is reviewed by not only the deputy’s immediate supervisors, but also members of our Command Staff. We analyze our uses of force each year and if necessary, adjust our training and / or policies to ensure we are operating with the best practices in law enforcement. Our Office has been independently reviewed and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies since 2006.

We stand by the members of our community, and will continue to work to ensure safe, unbiased, and fair law enforcement services to all.


Sheriff James T. DeWees

Westminster – Sheriff Jim DeWees was sworn in as the 58th Sheriff of Carroll County during an inauguration ceremony at Carroll Community College’s Scott Auditorium on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Sheriff DeWees is a retired Captain with the Maryland State Police and is serving his second term as Carroll County Sheriff, having run uncontested in the 2018 elections. Sheriff DeWees took control of the sheriff’s office from retiring Sheriff Kenneth Tregoning, who was first elected to office in 1998.

Sheriff DeWees was raised in Carroll County and is a 1988 graduate of South Carroll High School in Winfield, Maryland.  He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland and a Masters of Arts degree in Human Resource Development from Seton Hall University in Trenton, New Jersey.  Sheriff DeWees is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

Sheriff DeWees is married with three children who attend Carroll County Public Schools.  His wife of 16 years, Heather, is a teacher for Carroll County Public Schools and the girls’ varsity basketball coach at Manchester Valley High School.  Sheriff DeWees is the second youngest of the six children of Joan and the late Thomas DeWees of Thurmont, Maryland.

Sheriff DeWees retired as a Captain from the Maryland State Police.  His career with the Maryland State Police started after high school when he became a cadet at the age of 18.  Sheriff DeWees rose through the ranks of the Maryland State Police and held numerous operational and command assignments within the organization.  Sheriff DeWees spent the majority of his career as a patrol and investigative trooper, supervisor and barrack commander in Carroll County, assigned to the Westminster Barrack.  Sheriff DeWees was commander of both the Westminster and Golden Ring Barracks, Operations Commander for the Washington Metropolitan Area and ended his 25-year career as the Special Operations Division Commander, overseeing Emergency Operations, K9, S.T.A.T.E. Team and the Motor Unit.  He also served as an instructor at the State Police Academy.  For most of his career, Sheriff DeWees served as an operator, team leader and commander of the Maryland State Police SWAT Team known as S.T.A.T.E.

In 1998, Sheriff DeWees was awarded the Governor’s Citation of Valor after he shot the gun out of a suicidal man’s hand, ending a two-hour standoff in Keymar, Maryland.  He is also a recipient of the Superintendent’s Citation of Valor for his role in ending two separate armed standoffs in 2000 and 2002.  Sheriff DeWees has received numerous awards for excellence in investigations and leadership.

Sheriff DeWees brings a diverse background of law enforcement experience and leadership to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.   Continuing a career of public service, Sheriff DeWees now leads 276 dedicated employees who staff a full service law enforcement agency providing road patrol and criminal investigative services, a detention center, and courthouse security.  Sheriff DeWees considers it one of the highest honors of his career to serve the citizens of Carroll County as their Sheriff.



Carroll County Sheriffs Office Org Chart

Carroll County Sheriff's Office • 100 North Court Street • Westminster, Maryland 21157
410.386.2900 or 1.888.302.8924

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is committed to recruiting initiatives that reflect a fair and impartial representation of minority groups and females among its employees and applicants in approximate proportion to the minority composition of the Carroll County community.