Robert Ogden sworn in as Dukes County Sheriff

Sheriff Bob Ogden (left), congratulated by his predecessor, Michael McCormack, at his swearing in last January. — Ralph Stewart

Robert Ogden is the new sheriff in town. Mr. Ogden was sworn in as the new Dukes County Sheriff on Wednesday afternoon at the Dukes County Courthouse.

“Everything that we do from this day forward there will be with transparency,” Mr. Ogden said after being sworn in. “We’re not a house of corrections, or just a jail. We are public servants. I will faithfully uphold the ideas and commitments of the sheriff’s office for the next six years, in keeping with our core beliefs of excellence, professionalism, and respect.”

The Dukes County sheriff’s department is responsible for the county jail, house of correction, civil process, and the Island communications center, which handles all emergency 911 calls and public safety communications.

Mr. Ogden won November’s election over an unenrolled candidate, retired state trooper Neal Maciel (U) of Tisbury.

Mr. Ogden had 7,113 votes to Mr. Maciel’s 3,903 votes.

During his campaign, Mr. Ogden said he hoped to promote public safety by preparing offenders for successful reentry into the community, integrating state and community services to help them acquire job skills and educational opportunities.

“I will also work with the Island Counseling Center to provide meaningful mental health counseling to drug offenders. I will work to develop a diversion program so drug offenders receive rehabilitative services instead of jail time,” he told The Times in a November email. “I will continue to enhance our community policing initiatives through greater collaboration with the Youth Task Force, MVCS/ Island Wide Youth Collaborative, Martha’s Vineyard Councils on Aging, and the Public School system.”

Mr. Ogden has worked for the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years. Prior to his election, he was the Special Sheriff for Dukes County. (A special sheriff assumes the duties of the sheriff if for any reason he is unable to perform them.) He will replace Dukes County Sheriff Michael McCormack, who is retiring after 42 years of working for the county, 18 years as sheriff.

Mr. Ogden was president of the Dukes County Deputy Sheriff’s Association for 20 years. He founded the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and served as director for 22 years. He’s also served as Director of the Drug Information Bureau, and he was appointed to the Sheriff’s Office Policy Oversight Committee and Personnel By-Laws Development Committee. Mr. Ogden has also served on several community boards including the M.V. Boys and Girls Club and Martha’s Vineyard Youth Task Force.

He lives in West Tisbury with his wife, Jeanne Ogden, and their daughter Olivia.

Mr. Ogden’s staff was also sworn in Wednesday: James Neville – Superintendent / Special Sheriff; Durwood Araujo – Assistant Superintendent; Donald Rose – Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Operations; Sterling Bishop – Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Human Services; Peter Graczykowski – Director of Administration & Finance; Cynthia Higham – Director of Human Resources; Susan Schofield – Director of Communications