Sugar Land, TX – Sugar Land City Manager Michael W. Goodrum selected Loudoun County Undersheriff/Colonel Mark J. Poland to serve as Sugar Land’s next police chief. He is expected to begin Nov. 1.
Poland was identified through an extensive, nationwide search. He replaces Eric Robins, who retired in July after 33 years of public service that included 30 at SLPD with four years as chief.
Poland most recently served as undersheriff for Virginia’s largest full-service sheriff’s department (LCSO) where he supervised 841 law enforcement officers and civilians and managed a $111 million budget.
Poland’s 26-year law enforcement career includes a diverse and strong background in many facets of law enforcement, management and leadership. He credits integrity, work ethic and leading by example as the attributes that led to his appointment as undersheriff.
Most recently, he implemented a complex public-private partnership involving numerous community stakeholders working toward the resettlement of Afghan refugees. Partnering agencies included the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Services, INOVA Hospital System, Loudoun County Administrator, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, National Conference Center, the All-Dulles Area Muslim Society, local church leaders and many others.
“I am looking forward to joining the Sugar Land team and working together to ensure we remain among the nation’s safest cities,” said Poland. “I am a hard-working leader who demands professionalism from law enforcement individuals. I also believe as a law enforcement official, leaders within our profession must continue to expand our knowledge and grow as professionals to keep ahead of ever-changing trends in crime.”
Poland has a passion for partnerships such as the one he fostered between LCSO and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (LCFR). Both LCSO and LCFR leaders created joint High Threat Teams and Command Competency Lab training for all personnel to be prepared to immediately respond to active-violence incidents.
Poland joined LCSO in 1997 as a patrol deputy before promotions to detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel and undersheriff/colonel. He served in and provided leadership for several divisions including patrol, major crimes, special victims’ unit, narcotics and gangs, internal affairs and criminal investigations.
From 1995 to 1997, Poland worked at the Winchester City Police Department, and started in 1997 with Loudoun County serving over 430,000 residents in the fastest growing county in the nation.
Poland earned a bachelor’s degree in Police Science from George Washington University and a master’s degree in Homeland Security from The Naval Postgraduate School. He is a graduate of the 260th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and recently assisted as a subject-matter expert for the Department of Justice Commission on Law Enforcement report.
He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Virginia Chapter, the Major County Sheriffs of America, the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, and the National Sheriff’s Association.