Region – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian has been elected by his peers to serve as president of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association (MSA).
“From Berkshire County to Essex County and beyond, each day sheriffs across the commonwealth are making a difference in the lives of those we serve in our communities,” Koutoujian said. “Over the next two years I will work with my colleagues to support their efforts, while striving to better engage the public about our collective roles and responsibilities, as well as sheriffs’ work in tackling the factors that lead to criminal behavior, including substance use and mental illness.”
Appointed sheriff by Governor Deval Patrick in January 2011, Koutoujian won election to office in 2012 and reelection in 2016. Prior to assuming office, he served as an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and went on to serve 14 years in the Legislature representing the cities of Waltham, Watertown and Newton.
As a member of the Legislature, Koutoujian chaired the Joint Committee on Public Health and later the Joint Committee on Financial Services. He has also been deeply involved in efforts to address the opioid epidemic, chairing the first Massachusetts Oxycontin and Other Drug Abuse Commission in 2005.
Since assuming office in 2011, Koutoujian has worked with the Legislature to pass legislation allowing for greater continuity of medical care for individuals leaving incarceration and created the commonwealth’s only unit for incarcerated military veterans. The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has also been designated as a Center of Innovation by the National Institute of Corrections for its medication-assisted treatment program for individuals with opioid use disorders.
Recognized this year as a “Champion of Justice Reform” by the Coalition for Public Safety, Koutoujian is a member of both the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and Major County Sheriffs’ Association (MCSA), as well as a founding member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration.
Koutoujian will begin his two-year term as MSA president in January.