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About Sheriff Bill McMahon

In 1984, Bill McMahon began his law enforcement career with the Maryland National Capital Park Police.

In 1986, he was hired by the Howard County Department of Police, where he served for the next 28 years.

After rising through the ranks, in 2006, Bill was appointed as the Chief of Police for Howard County.

During his tenure as Chief, and with his strong experience and leadership skills, the County experienced unprecedented reductions in crime and in traffic-related deaths.

In January of 2014, he responded to and led the response to the tragic shooting at the Mall in Columbia. He gives credit to the officers and shares that the key to the department's response to the crisis was the planning, training and equipment purchases that had been completed in anticipation of an active shooter event. The department led the community’s recovery from that incident through their commitment to working with community members and the many organizations in the county. The Police Department’s response to the incident received national acclaim.

Bill McMahon was appointed to the position of Howard County Sheriff in the Fall of 2016 following the resignation of the incumbent Sheriff. Since being sworn in, Sheriff McMahon has worked tirelessly to ensure that the public has confidence and trust in the office, and that the deputies and employees have the support they need.

Bill brings the lessons he learned and the partnerships he created over the past 33 years to his current role as Howard County Sheriff.

Professional Organizations

Recognizing the needs to stay abreast of current thinking and trends, Bill maintains active memberships in a number of organizations:

  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • The National Sheriff’s Association
  • The Maryland Chiefs of Police Association
  • The Maryland Sheriffs Association
  • The Police Executive Research Forum
  • Leadership Howard County

Community Involvement

Bill has been involved in a number of community programs over the years and is:

  • An active participant in Special Olympics Torch Run activities
  • An active Participant in the Police Unity Tour 
  • A regular Red Cross blood donor
  • A past coach for youth sport programs


Family Life

Bill and his wife Annette have 3 children and one new grandchild, have been married for over 33 years and live in Ellicott City. 


Committee to Elect Bill McMahon
Authority of Patrick Shurney, Treasurer to the Committee to Elect Bill McMahon
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