Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings will not seek a fifth term, saying in a written statement that after 50 years of public service, it is time for him to retire.
Sheriffs are elected every six years, and Sheriff Cummings’s fourth term will end in November 2022.
His service will include 24 years at the end of his fourth term as sheriff and 23 years with the Massachusetts State Police, as well as two years of active duty in the US Navy and a summer spent as a Falmouth police officer.
“I have been very fortunate to have had two great careers,” he said. “One with the Massachusetts State Police and then as the Barnstable County sheriff.”
He extended his thanks to all the talented and dedicated men and women he has had the pleasure of working with over the years in those two roles.
During his tenure, Sheriff Cummings oversaw the design and construction of the Barnstable County Correctional Facility in Bourne, the construction of which started in 2002 and concluded in 2004.
“The new correctional facility has allowed us to operate exactly as we had planned with safety and security for inmates, staff and the community secured, additional inmate housing, space for inmate programming and volunteer services,” he said.
Additionally, he said the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program is one of the most successful in the country, with a proven record of reducing the risk of reoffending.
Sheriff Cummings said the county’s correctional facility was also the first in the country to begin a medication-assisted treatment program for offenders who are struggling with substance abuse disorders, using the non-narcotic drug Vivitrol.
In terms of public safety, Sheriff Cummings said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation is continuing to use technology to assist Cape Cod’s local police departments as they solve crimes.
He listed those technologies as including the addition of an automated fingerprint identification system, upgraded digital photography and investigators trained to solve computer crimes.
The sheriff’s office also assists local police departments by offering a K-9 unit, a drone unit with certified pilots, a hostage negotiation team, a special response team and a marine unit.
Sheriff Cummings said he, along with the staff in his office, have worked hard to ensure that the department is an asset to the Cape’s 15 towns and to the residents therein.
“Thank you for your support throughout the years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the final year of my term as your sheriff serving the community of Barnstable County.”