Sheriff, Hamilton County
Charmaine McGuffey grew up in a working class neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio with her mother and two sisters. Her mother worked long hours to support them and taught Charmaine the value of hard work and the difference community support can make in someone’s life. Charmaine is married to Christine Sandusky and reside in downtown Cincinnati with her two dogs.
She has known since she was 14 years old that she wanted to be a police officer. However, a favorite uncle, an ex-cop, told her that women couldn’t be cops and cops couldn’t be women. That motivated her all the more.
McGuffey earned her degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, became a police officer, and spent 33 years in the Sheriff’s Department. She rose to the rank of Major in Command of Jail and Court Services, the first woman to ever achieve this rank in the history of the Sheriff’s Department.
Charmaine is running for Sheriff because during her 33-year career, she built a record as a true reformer. She is the leader needed to bring justice reform to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. When she was appointed to the rank of Major in 2013, she oversaw the third largest jail in the state of Ohio. Within a three-year period, she led the effort to improve the Hamilton County Justice Center from its ranking as worst in the state to the best of the large jails in Ohio.
As Commander of the jail, Charmaine invited people to the table including social service agencies, former prisoners, clergy, and people experiencing homelessness, to bring forward fresh ideas and resources. With their input, she implemented specialized pods to address ways to improve safety and services. She created the women’s heroin recovery pod to help women start their recovery process and a pod for men with 6 months or less on their sentence to connect them with community resources before being released so they had a support plan for success.
In 2015, Charmaine was named local and regional “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year”, and in 2016, she was honored by the Ohio House of Representatives for being named Public Citizen of the year by the Ohio Chapter of NASW.
Justice reform is not on the horizon, it is not months away, it is here and it is now. Charmaine McGuffey will work every day to make reform happen for everyone impacted by our system.