Do you think local leaders should consider merging parts or all of the Sheriff's Department with the Hagerstown City Police for greater efficiency?
''No, I'm totally opposed to that. Always have been. Are you going to say that the county comes under the authority of the chief of police for the city of Hagerstown? Or are you going to say that the city police comes under the authority of the sheriff of Washington County?
"I don't think there's any duplication of services. People might see the county cruisers in town. Well, naturally with the court system in town, we're always in there, either delivering prisoners or bringing them back, taking people for bond reviews, etc. We're always serving the Circuit Court warrants in the City of Hagerstown, because that's required by law.
"City police officers are out of their cars a lot. They're in the communities. We are very mobile, very transient out in the county.
"To one night walk a beat in the City of Hagerstown and the next night to have a car and be in Sharpsburg or Keedysville, I just think that's different styles of policing.
"If it was a county police force, certainly it would come under the County Commissioners or city fathers. Again, you're back to serving five or six masters, compared to being the elected sheriff and serving the entire county that you're elected to represent.
"But it should become a voter referendum issue because of the fiscal impact.''
Is the Washington County Detention Center too crowded and should county officials consider expanding it or building another jail?
''No. We are comfortable with our staffing and our capabilities to hold the inmates that we have here today.
"When you get overcrowded, you tax other inmates, you tax staff, you tax the support services, the medical and food service, so it's a constant revolving door because counties do not want to build detention centers.
"When people say put them in jail and leave them there, you just have to make room down the road for the next group coming in. You just can't keep locking everybody up. I mean there's credit for good time and things of that nature that are taken into consideration. Yeah, the bad ones, the really bad ones are locked up, and put there and the key's thrown away.
"But there's a lot of them that come to jail for one reason or another that just need those services that go with being incarcerated, so I think we're prepared to handle most of it."
Do you believe the Washington County State's Attorney's Office cuts too many deals with offenders?
''No, I don't. I'm not in his office. I know that the state's attorney does an excellent job. We've had a good working relationship since I've been the sheriff since 1986. I think he uses a tremendous amount of discretion in prosecuting cases.
"I personally have talked to him about some of the cases that we've been involved in, because certain situations are brought to my attention by the investigating deputy, or some involve issues in the detention center. He's open-minded; he's willing to sit down and discuss and present his side of things.
"I don't think he does that - cut deals - that's a harsh term for me to personally even say. I'm sure he has to weigh a lot of factors when he decides to prosecute cases, and some of those issues could be of such a sensitive nature that the victim's not satisfied, or the public's going to perceive it as cutting a deal. But I'm sure that he's privileged to certain information in his office that he knows what's the right thing to do.''
Why do you oppose unionization of the Sheriff's Department?
You have no problem with a union?