Montgomery County Sheriff Candidate Jae Hwang Offers Energy and New Ideas
By Deborah Lambert
During a recent campaign appearance in October, Montgomery County Sheriff candidate Jae Hwang was asked what he thought would be the most important change he would bring to this office in November.
His answer was “transparency.” Since the current officials in the department have been in office for up to 30 years, there has been a growing feeling that they are not as responsive to the public’s needs as they should be.
“My top priority is to be out in public, talking to our citizens and getting a handle on the situations that require my attention. I believe this is something that will make me much more effective,” said Hwang.
His background, qualifications and accomplishments bear further scrutiny, since the write-ups about his career and experience practically jump off the page.
For example, in a section titled “Restore Safety and Security,” he pledges the following:
- Leadership from the Front Lines, Not from Behind a Desk
- Respect and Accountability Directly to You, Not to Special Interests
- Zero Tolerance for School Crime and Domestic Violence
- Restore the Sanctity of our Constitution and Shared American Values
A life-long resident of Montgomery County, Lieutenant Hwang grew up in Rockville, attended Montgomery County schools, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Baltimore School of Law.
He began his career as an intern for the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Program (LEAP), and currently works as Deputy Commander of the Fifth District Police Station in Germantown.
Lieutenant Hwang lives in Boyds with his wife and two children, currently speaks three languages (English, Spanish and Korean) and is learning a fourth language.
During his law enforcement career, Lieutenant Hwang has policed every area of Montgomery County, including the demanding overnight shift patrolling the Wheaton/Silver Spring area, and Rockville, Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Potomac areas.
His answer to a question posed by Bethesda Magazine, “What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)” was as follows:
“I had the privilege to work with military veterans serving our country and protecting our freedom. I am a Captain, U.S. Army Reserve, having served around the world, in Germany, South Korea, and Japan, as well as 9 states in the USA. My assignments included Operational Law, Administrative and Civil Law, and Military Justice (Prosecutor).
The 66 courses and programs that he has completed include the following:
- Domestic and International Terrorism
- Suicide Bombers
- Surveillance Detection Tactics and Techniques
- Inside the Mind of a Juvenile Killer Seminar
- Human Trafficking and Hate Crimes Investigations
In a note to Montgomery County citizens, Lieutenant Hwang asserts that “in today’s climate, the status quo is not good enough. Since crime is rising and criminals are evolving, law enforcement must stay many steps ahead to keep the people of Montgomery County safe. To meet the challenges of the 21stcentury criminal, we must have a 21stcentury sheriff’s office at the cutting edge of technology and law enforcement tactics."
“More importantly, the sheriff must stand united with the people he is elected to serve and protect. A direct line of communication is vital in order to build trust with the diverse communities and neighborhoods that comprise Montgomery County.”