Mullendore is an obvious choice, he said. The captain has moved up the ranks of the department for the past 24 years and, as the chief deputy, works closely with Mades.
"To me, the wheel's not broken, so why reinvent it?" Mades said.
Mades said over the past 20 years, he has seen the department grow from 100 employees in 1986 to 219. Mades helped create home detention in the county, a program through which convicted criminals can be monitored from their homes through the Washington County Detention Center, and the Jail Substance Abuse Program, a treatment program for inmates with addictions.
Drugs in Washington County will continue to be an issue for the next sheriff, he said. From interviews with drug dealers, Mades said police know there is a market here.
He said police have been diligent in trying to curb drug activity, but dealers are becoming more violent.
Drug-related crime, such as shoplifting and thefts, continues to be an issue, he said.
Mades said the Hispanic population in the county is growing, but he doesn't have enough deputies who speak Spanish. As the county grows, so will the need for additional positions at the sheriff's department. Because of competitive salaries for police across the state, Mades said it's hard finding prospective deputies who pass background checks to stay in the county, he said.
He said he plans to remain in the home in Halfway where he has lived since 1964. Mades has three children and nine grandchildren with whom he'd like to spend more time, he said.
The sheriff earns an annual salary of $67,500. The salary was increased to $80,000 by the Maryland General Assembly this past session, according to published reports.
The sheriff's salary, according to the Maryland Constitution, cannot be increased or decreased during a term of office. The increase will take effect when the elected sheriff is sworn in, according to published reports.