The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday bid farewell to Major Michael Merican, the agency’s Assistant Sheriff, as well as six other long-time employees as they enter into retirement, providing a combined 209 years of service to the community.
The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County on Tuesday offered commendations to Major Merican #27, with 37 years and eight months of service; Captain Richard Gray #526, with 31 years and eight months of service; Sgt. Mark Porter #44, with 34 years and five months of service; Cpl. Earl Young #701, with 29 years and five months of service, and Cpl. Ralph Butler #588, with 23 years and five months of service.
On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office also offered the Final Salute to Capt. Eric Sweeney #64, Commander of the Vice/Narcotics Division, with 31 years of service, and Cpl. Elizabeth O’Connor #138, with 21 years and 10 months of service.
Major Merican joined the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in June 1984 as a deputy sheriff. In 2002, Merican was named the commander of the St. Mary’s County Adult Detention Center. Capt. Merican was promoted to Major in 2017.
Commissioner Todd Morgan called Major Merican’s time as warden of the detention center “transformative.”
Major Merican said at Thursday’s Final Salute, “Today’s not an end. It’s a beginning. When a door closes, another opens. It’s been a great run. It’s my community. It’s your community. It’s bittersweet for me. I love the Sheriff’s Office. I love every one of you guys.”
“We’ll replace the position, but we won’t replace the man,” Sheriff Tim Cameron said of Merican’s departure on Tuesday.
“This is a bittersweet day, certainly for me,” Sheriff Cameron said on Thursday, “but it’s also a celebration. We bid you farewell, but not goodbye.”
Capt. Gray said on Tuesday, “To the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, your dedication and commitment to the department and the profession is remarkable.” Sheriff Cameron called Capt. Gray is “one of the finest instructors” at the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy.
Sgt. Porter joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1987 and said, “This agency by far outranks any agency that I’m familiar with. I’ve made lifelong friends along the way.”
Sheriff Cameron said Sgt. Porter has “poured his heart and soul” into his career with the agency.
Cpl. Young said, “Other than the birth of my children, putting on this uniform is the proudest thing I’ve ever done.”
Cpl. Butler told his peers, “I love you guys and I will see you soon.” Sheriff Cameron told him, “Congratulations on an exemplary career.”