Talbot County Sheriff's Department


Sheriff Joe Gamble
Jgamble@talbotcountymd.gov | 443-496-1662

Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble retired as a Lieutenant
with the Maryland State Police, Criminal Enforcement Division, Homicide Unit,
after nearly 27 years of loyal and dedicated service. His duties included
investigating and supervising homicide and police involved shooting
investigations for nearly 17 years all across our State. Joe Gamble
investigated or supervised homicide and police involved shooting investigations
in nearly every County of Maryland. In addition to those duties, he supervised
the Maryland State Police, Drug Task Forces and the Eastern Shore Gang Unit.
During his tenure in the homicide unit, Sheriff Gamble was deputized by both
the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
while working on violent drug trafficking organizations operating in the
eastern United States. Joe Gamble was the longest serving Commander of Maryland
State Police, Homicide Unit in the history of the state police at the time of
his retirement, He has appeared on numerous national television programs,
highlighting complex homicide investigations as well as numerous radio talk
shows. He has testified as an expert witness in Maryland Court in the area of
criminal investigation, police involved shootings and police policy.

Sheriff Gamble was elected in November of 20214 and is
currently serving his third term. Sheriff Gamble has worked tirelessly to
transform the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office into one the citizens of Talbot
County can be proud. Based on feedback from our citizenry and his extensive
experience with violent crime and drug related crime, Sheriff Gamble set out of
turn the sheriff’s office toward a proactive approach to policing, as well as
increasing the outreach to our community. Sheriff Gamble founded the Talbot
Goes Purple drug education initiative, and has educated tens of
thousands of students, parent and grandparents across our region, in drug
dependency recognition.

Sheriff Gamble initiated the School Resource Officer program
, the K-9 Unit, Crisis Response Unit, Crisis Response Training, reinvigorated
the Talbot County Narcotics Task Force and Teen Court to better protect our
community. During his 34 years of law enforcement experience, Sheriff Gamble
has received numerous awards and recognition at the local, state and federal
level for his work in violent crime, violent drug crime, victim’s rights,
innovation in homicide investigation, community outreach, and police officer of
the year awards. He serves currently as the President of the Maryland
Sheriff’s Association. He also served on a number of boards in Talbot County
which focus on our youth. Sheriff Gamble is a commission member of the
Maryland Police Training Commission and currently served on a number of
subcommittees to better train and equip Maryland law enforcement. 

Unit Commanders

Major Scott Mergenthaler: Chief Deputy and Administrative Commander
Smergenthaler@talbotcountymd.gov | 410-829-0957

Major Scott Mergenthaler serves as the senior ranking officer under Sheriff Joe Gamble and directs/oversees all operational and administrative activities in the Office.

Major Mergenthaler has 47 years of law enforcement experience in sworn and command positions:

  • After serving 26 years with the Maryland State Police, retired in 1999 as a Lieutenant Commander of the Waterloo Barrack in Howard County.

  • 1999 appointed Chief Deputy of the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, serving 8 years.

  • December 2006 appointed to Talbot County Sheriff’s Office as Commander Administrative Services Division.

  • 2014 appointed by Sheriff Joe Gamble as Chief Deputy of the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office.

Major Mergenthaler is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development School, University of North Florida Institute of Police Technology and Management, and the University of Louisville Southern Police Institute.  In addition, he has studied criminal justice at the Community College of Baltimore County and Chesapeake College.

Major Mergenthaler is also a member of numerous law enforcement associations throughout the State and Nation.

Capt. John Bollinger: Patrol Commander 
Captain John Bollinger is the Patrol/Operations Commander and has oversight of the road patrol deputies, Circuit Court Security, K-9 uniform patrol teams, civil process unit and the community relations unit. 

Captain Bollinger joined the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office in March 2007 as a Lieutenant, Commander of the Criminal Investigation Unit. He was promoted to Captain in July 2018 and transferred to the Commander of the Patrol/Operations Division.

Captain Bollinger retired from the Maryland State Police in February 2007 after 27 years of service. He began his career as a road trooper in Charles County before being transferred to the Narcotics Unit working on the eastern shore of Maryland. Captain Bollinger spent the next 18 years working in various investigative divisions, with the last 11 years spent in the statewide homicide unit as the regional commander.

Captain Bollinger recently celebrated his 40th year in law enforcement, having spent the majority of that time working in and around Talbot County. 

Lt. Steve Elliott: Criminal Investigations Commander

Lieutenant Steve Elliott is the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division which encompasses the detective unit, Drug Task Force, DARE, School Resource Officers and Administrative Support Staff.

Lt Elliott Joined the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office in August 2016 as a civilian employee and first Heroin Coordinator for Talbot County. In July 2018, Lt Elliott was asked to take a sworn position where he became the Commander of the Criminal investigations Division. Prior to working with the Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Elliott enjoyed a 27 ½ year career with the Maryland State Police, retiring as the Commander of Criminal Enforcement Division-Eastern Region.

All officers are available by telephone at 410-822-1020 — please allow up to 72 hours for a return call. due to rotating shifts.