Meet Joe


Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. was elected in November 2004, and sworn into office by Massachusetts Governor W. Mitt Romney on January 5, 2005. He 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.

Sheriff McDonald served as President of the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association from 2013-2015 and is currently the Vice Chairman. Sheriff McDonald Co-Chairs with District Attorney Tim Cruz, the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force.  He also serves as the Public Safety representative on Governor Baker’s Opioid Working Group and the Justice Reinvestment Working Group.

The Sheriff was honored to be selected from among a pool of international, federal, state and local law enforcement agency heads 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: The National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the FBI Law Enforcement Development Association (LEEDA), the American Correctional Association (ACA), Southeast Massachusetts Prosecutor’s Association, Southeast Massachusetts Detective’s Association (SEMDA), Plymouth County Police Chief’s Association, the Plymouth County Police Officers Association, and the Plymouth District Bar Association (past president 2005). He 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.

A U.S. and local history buff, the Sheriff has taught history and criminal justice classes as an adjunct professor at Quincy College. He is also a fan of classic American cars, and can frequently be seen cruising to local shows in his original factory stock 1968 Pontiac Firebird 350 Coupe.

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