Mark Tasciotti began duties as the new Recruiter for the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office this week. As the full-time Recruiter, Tasciotti will work to fill vacant positions in law enforcement and corrections.

With 302 positions budgeted in the Sheriff’s Office, there are currently five vacancies in law enforcement positions and 12 in corrections.

“We are making steady progress on filling our vacancies,” Tasciotti said. “We’re continually recruiting all of the time.”

“Recruiting qualified personnel into the law enforcement and corrections professions is a challenge not only locally but nationally because of the inherent nature of the work,” Sheriff Tim Cameron said.“Having a full-time, professional recruiter at our agency ensures we continue to bring in the best people working at the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office,” he said.

What is not commonly known is that it takes some time between when a person is hired and when that deputy hits the streets on patrol, Tasciotti said. Cadets have to wait for the next session of the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy to begin. Once the Academy starts, the police course takes 32 weeks and 10 weeks for corrections personnel. Upon graduation, the police cadet then goes through 2.5 more months of field training with Sheriff’s Deputies. With these legal requirements from the state of Maryland, it can take at least one year for a deputy to begin duties on the street from the time he or she was hired.

“We mentor our applicants if needed,” Tasciotti said. “That’s where we go above and beyond. Applicants don’t feel like a number when they come and see us.”

Tasciotti, a retired Captain from the Washington D.C. Fire and EMS Department, started with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office as a Background Investigator in March 2013.