Longtime Carroll County Sheriff Ken Tregoning announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection in 2014 after completing his 16th year in office.
Tregoning said a combination of factors led him to decide against running for reelection in 2014, including a desire to spend more time with his grandchildren and the feeling that his career has reached its pinnacle.
He decided to announce his intentions now because of the earlier primary date in 2014, allowing candidates time to announce their candidacies without wondering whether he would run.
"It's the fair way to do it," he said.
Tregoning, who will be 70 at the end of his term, said he plans to spend more time with his 11 grandchildren when he leaves his post as sheriff.
"It's time for me to relax a little bit more," he said.
When he leaves, Tregoning might be best remembered for leading the Sheriff's Office through its transition to becoming the primary law enforcement agency in the county instead of relying on the state police.
The transition, which started in 2011, will be complete later this summer.
Tregoning acknowledged that making the Sheriff's Office the county's primary law enforcment agency was his most significant accomplishment during his tenure.
"I strongly believe that local protection for county citizens and law enforcement services are best provided by the Office of Sheriff," Tregoning said in a news release.
Board of County Commissioners President Doug Howard said Tregoning has done a "phenomenal" job bringing the Sheriff's department to a new level.
"He's made a lasting impression on law enforcement in Carroll County," he said.
The Sheriff's Office became the first and only Carroll County Law Enforcement Agency to receive national recognition and accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The accomplishment recognizes that the Sheriff's Office had adopted standards, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations that meet or exceed the highest expectations of performance and conduct as established by the commission.
Less than 10 percent of the more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationally have achieved this honor, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.
Tregoning is the 57th sheriff of Carroll County since its charter in 1837.
Before he was elected sheriff in December of 1998, Tregoning served four years in the United States Marine Corps., and 31 years with Maryland State Police.
Tregoning said in a statement that he was "extremely grateful" to county citizens for allowing him to serve them as sheriff.
He also said he was "deeply honored" to have partnered with several Boards of Commissioners, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies and Carroll County Government employees.
"Finally, there are not enough words of praise to describe the dedication, commitment, hard work, and loyalyty of the employees of Sheriff Services and the Detention Center to public safety," he said in a statement. "Through their leadership, decision-making, personal, and professional council, I have been able to humbly contribute to my profession and public safety in Carroll County."
Tregoning said he was confident a qualified candidate will be elected next year and "take the Sheriff's Office to the next level."