Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr.


Photo Credit, Joe Goldsberry

Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. was elected in November 2004, and sworn into office by then Massachusetts Governor W. Mitt Romney on January 5, 2005. Sheriff McDonald is the 30th High Sheriff of the County of Plymouth, an office which dates back to 1692.

Prior to being elected to the county’s top law enforcement post, Sheriff McDonald served for almost nine years as an assistant District Attorney for Plymouth County.

Sheriff McDonald is a life-long native of Plymouth County having grown up in Marshfield, and now residing in the Town of Kingston.

Sheriff McDonald is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in May of 1988, and a graduate of the Suffolk University Law School, receiving his Juris Doctor degree in May of 1991.

Most recently the Sheriff was honored to be selected from among a pool of international, federal, state and local law enforcement agency heads and superior officers to attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS 59th Session) at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Among Sheriff McDonald’s professional associations are memberships in the following organizations: The National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the FBI Law Enforcement Development Association (LEEDA), Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association (currently serving as MSA President), the American Correctional Association (ACA) Southeast Massachusetts Prosecutor’s Association (former association secretary) , Southeast Massachusetts Detective’s Association (SEMDA), Plymouth County Police Chief’s Association, the Plymouth County Police Officer’s Association, and the Plymouth District Bar Association (past president 2005).

Sheriff McDonald is also admitted to both the Massachusetts and the United States District Court bars.

The Sheriff is an avid sportsman and target shooter, belonging to the Marshfield Rod and Gun Club as well as the Old Colony Sportsman’s Association in Pembroke and the Middleboro Sportsman’s Club. He enjoys informal and competitive target shooting with handguns and rifles, as well as shotguns and antique black powder firearms.

An avid U.S. and local history buff, the Sheriff has taught history and criminal justice classes as an adjunct professor at the Plymouth campus of Quincy College.

The Sheriff is also a fan of classic American automobiles, and can frequently be seen cruising to local car shows and cruise nights in his original factory stock 1968 Pontiac Firebird 350 Coupe.

Sheriff McDonald, his wife and two daughters make their home in Kingston.

Click here to watch Sheriff McDonald on FOX 25 News discusssing "SECURE COMMUNITIES" in Massachusetts

Click here to Watch the Sheriff's latest episode of SAFE COMMUNITIES with special guest

Farm Director Ted DeCristofaro


1954 Ford Fordor Cruiser

Sheriff's 1968 Pontiac Firebird



Plymouth County Sheriff elected president of Sheriffs Association

The Patriot Ledger

August 4, 2013

Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald was elected president of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association on Friday.

“It is a great privilege to be asked by my fellow sheriffs to lead our association,” McDonald said in a press release. “Working together, we have made great strides in making our communities safer and enhancing law enforcement across the commonwealth.”

McDonald has previously served as the association’s vice president, and he will be president through 2014.

The Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association consists of the state’s 14 elected sheriffs, who work together to address issues within the criminal justice system.

McDonald said that under his leadership the organization will continue to focus on finding cost-effective measures to address inmate overcrowding, staff development and inmate recidivism.

“Nearly all of the inmates in the county correction system eventually return to our neighborhoods after serving their sentences,” McDonald said in a press release. “We have to be smart about finding ways to allow these individuals to re-enter our communities in a productive manner.”

McDonald was first elected sheriff of Plymouth County in 2004 and was re-elected in 2010. He was a prosecutor before becoming sheriff.



From Sheriff Bradford to Sheriff McDonald
Past Sheriffs & Years of Service

John Bradford 1692-1699
James Warren 1699-1700
Seth Arnold 1700-1701
Nathaniel Warren 1701-1706
Issac Lothrop 1706-1721
Thomas Barker 1721-1731
Jonathan Holman 1731-1733
James Warren, Sr. 1733-1756
James Warren, Jr. 1756-1779
George Partridge 1779-1813
Albert Smith 1813
Nathan Hayward 1813-1845
Branch Harlow 1845-1852
William Thomas 1852-1854
Branch Harlow 1854-1855
Daniel Phillips 1855-1856
John Perkins 1856-1857
Daniel Phillips 1857-1860
James Bates 1860-1876
Alphesus Harmon 1876-1902
Henry Porter 1902-1919
Earl Blake 1919-1928
Charles Robbins 1928-1955
Adnah Harlow 1955-1971
Linwood Snow 1971-1980
Peter Flynn 1980-1994
Peter Forman 1994-2000
Charles Decas 2000
Joseph McDonough 2000-2005
Joseph D. McDonald Jr. 2005-PRESENT


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Would you, a family member or neighbor benefit from a daily well being phone call ? Sheriff McDonald offers this free program and would like you to know how you can request a call that works for you and your family. Please call us at

1-800-622-4300 or choose this link to learn more about the service




A service that helps offer a peace of mind for caregivers of people at risk of wandering


Volunteer Deputy Children's Fingerprinting



Would you like to know more about what we do here at The Plymouth County Sheriff's Department? Do you have a Civic Organization, Neighborhood Association or group of Interested Citizens that are curious about the many programs we offer here? Well, our Community Outreach Division has several Power Point Presentations available for any Community Organization in Plymouth County.

These programs are free and available 7 days a week, morning, afternoon and evening. If you are looking for an interesting and entertaining speaker for your next meeting or get-together, contact Deputy Liisa Budge-Johnson, Program Service Outreach Coordinator at (508) 732-1852 and she will be happy to schedule a time to get together with you.

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