Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti

Michael G. Bellotti became one of the youngest sheriffs in Massachusetts history when he was first elected to the office in 1998 at the age of 35. Now in his 12th year as sheriff of Norfolk County, he continues to emphasize innovation, collaboration and accountability as the keys to running an office in which area residents can take pride.

A staunch advocate of using the newest technologies to provide the highest degree of safety to the citizens of Norfolk County and to his staff, Sheriff Bellotti has significantly bolstered the security system at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Dedham by installing 400 new video surveillance cameras throughout the facility. He also introduced a computerized database system that seamlessly shares inmate information with police departments and other investigatory agencies.

Sheriff Bellotti is proud of the fact that the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office has more correction officers certified by the American Jail Association than any other correctional agency in the nation. In addition, the Norfolk County Correctional Center is one of only 78 such facilities throughout the country that has received accreditation from both the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

The sheriff has been a trailblazer in developing an inmate re-entry program the Massachusetts Attorney General called “a model for the entire state.” The program prepares inmates for a successful transition back into society when they finish their jail sentence. In doing so, the program forces inmates to be accountable to themselves and their communities after their release.

Sheriff Bellotti believes in strong inmate programming to address anger management, substance abuse and numerous other behavioral problems associated with crime. In addition, he offers vocational training in culinary arts and HVAC to the inmate population. There also is a top-notch GED preparation program, and 92 percent of its participants have earned their high school equivalency diplomas over the last six years.

The sheriff realizes that public safety reaches beyond the walls of the jail, and he has enthusiastically joined forces with the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (MetroLEC), which provides highly specialized law enforcement services such as K9 teams, a computer crime unit, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and a crisis negotiating team to 43 southeastern Massachusetts communities. Additionally, Sheriff Bellotti is the Massachusetts statewide coordinator for Project Lifesaver, which finds and rescues people with Alzheimer’s disease, autism and other afflictions who wander away from their homes and become lost. He also collaborates with Fallon Ambulance Service to run “Are You OK?” which makes daily phone checks on hundreds of elderly citizens living alone throughout the county. Since Sheriff Bellotti introduced the program in 2001, “Are You OK?” has summoned emergency medical help for more than 70 elderly people enrolled in the free program.

Sheriff Bellotti has authored articles on various criminal justice and correctional issues which have been published in American Jails magazine, the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Patriot Ledger. He has been honored to receive the Honorable Maurice H. Richardson Award for Excellence in the Community, the Sons of Italy Social Justice Award and the Project Lifesaver International Recognition Award among others.

The sheriff is a graduate of New England School of Law and Boston College. He lives in Quincy with his wife and three children.