Worcester County Sheriff's Office

Citizens and Government Working Together

History

The current site of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office was initially purchased in 1742, following the creation of Worcester County after breaking away from a larger Somerset County. The land, purchased as the site of the current Worcester County Circuit Court house, was bought from John Martin. As a primary port on the Pocomoke River, Snowhill-Town (later designated as Snow Hill) would be chosen as the county seat for Worcester County.

Once the new county lines were drawn, James Martin took office as the first Sheriff. The courthouse, which contained the Sheriff's office, burned to the ground in 1834 and was rebuilt with brick construction immediately after the fire. A separate jail was built immediately behind the new courthouse. In 1893, another great fire occurred, which again destroyed the courthouse. This time, $24,000 was allocated to build the new courthouse on the same site, and $3,500 was given to build the new jail on its previous site. The courthouse still houses the Sheriff's office today, although the jail has been detached from the courthouse and rebuilt outside Snow Hill.

Through the years, the Worcester County Sheriff's Office has undertaken not only civil paper-service work and jail supervision, but also law enforcement patrol service. In the early 1980s, the new detention center was turned over to the county. As a full service enforcement agency, the Sheriff's office now maintains 24-hour a day patrol coverage for the county.