A former Metropolitan Police Department captain with over 30 years of law enforcement experience has announced a 2022 bid to run for Charles County sheriff.
Derek L. Larsen of Port Tobacco officially entered the race in August and is currently the lone challenger for the position currently held by Sheriff Troy Berry (D). Berry has not yet filed for re-election.
Larsen, who has been a resident of Charles for 16 years, decided to run after seeing rising crime rates in county.
“I’ve been approached by numerous committee leaders, regular residents and business owners and one thing they complain about is this lack of police presence in the neighborhoods and stores,” Larsen said.
Proactive community policing is important to Larson, who participated with youth and school safety as well as criminal investigations during his time with the Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C.
Larsen said having officers engrained in the community would also help the public with understanding how law enforcement works.
“When you have a community partnership with law enforcement, there’s an exchange of information,” he said. “The police department comes in, they can talk to community groups, neighborhood groups and educate them exactly on how law enforcement works, the tactics they use and how they do it.”
If elected, Larsen would also examine recruitment and promotion practices to provide a more equitable allotment of sheriff’s deputies, especially in the command staff.
Larsen would also develop a policy of hearing directly from community leaders on what they need from the sheriff’s office.
“You just can’t paint the whole entire county with one brush,” he said. “Different communities have different needs, and the officers and the command staff have to go out into the community and find out what those needs are.”