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Sheriff Tim Cameron, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, the Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Senator Jack Bailey, Maryland Delegate Brian Crosby, Maryland Delegate Matt Morgan, the St. Mary's County Commissioners, several active and retired judges and the family of Sheriff Joseph Lee Somerville Sr. gathered on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, to celebrate the dedication of 10 miles of Route 5 after the Sheriff.
The section of Route 5 from its intersection with Hollywood Road in Leonardtown to its intersection with Route 235 in Mechanicsville was dedicated in honor of Sheriff Joseph Lee Somerville.
Sheriff Somerville became the first black deputy in St. Mary’s County when he joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1966. Deputy Somerville, a native of Loveville, was promoted to Lieutenant in 1976. The following year, Lt. Somerville was appointed by Governor Marvin Mandel to continue the term of Sheriff George Sanger, who passed away unexpectedly. Sworn in on the steps of the courthouse in Leonardtown on March 1, 1977, Sheriff Somerville became the first black Sheriff in St. Mary’s County and in the state of Maryland. In 1978, Sheriff Somerville successfully ran for election to the office, becoming the county’s and state’s first elected black Sheriff. He was also the sixth black Sheriff in the United States at the time.
Sheriff Somerville retired from the Sheriff’s Office in 1982. He continued to live in St. Mary’s County and two of his son’s followed in their father’s footsteps as St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Deputies. He died on April 1, 2021 at the age of 81.
Two of his sons, Kevin and Joe Lee Jr., followed in his footsteps and served with the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office as well.
Sheriff Cameron, Joseph Lee Somerville Jr., Kevin Somerville, Sgt. Brian Connelly and Cpl. Kenneth Flerlage
Cpl. Andrew Holton and Sheriff Cameron are the only two personnel still with the agency that were hired by Sheriff Somerville
Disclaimer: In the U.S.A., all persons accused of a crime by the State are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. See: https://so.md/presumed-innocence. Additionally, all of the information provided above is solely from the perspective of the respective law enforcement agency and does not provide any direct input from the accused or persons otherwise mentioned. You can find additional information about the case by searching the Maryland Judiciary Case Search Database using the accused's name and date of birth. The database is online at https://so.md/mdcasesearch . Persons named who have been found innocent or not guilty of all charges in the respective case, and/or have had the case ordered expunged by the court can have their name, age, and city redacted by following the process defined at https://so.md/expungeme.