Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian
On January 21, 2011, Peter J. Koutoujian was sworn in as Sheriff of Middlesex County by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to fill a vacancy at this historic office, which was established in 1692. In November of 2012, Koutoujian won election as Middlesex County Sheriff – representing 1.5 million residents -- with 77% of the vote.
After being sworn-in, Sheriff Koutoujian hit the ground running, utilizing his legal and legislative experience to implement his vision for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. His first action was to institute new policies designed to increase public confidence, including creating a policy that prohibits employees from donating to the Sheriff's political campaign and mandating campaign and political finance education classes for all employees.
He has created new inmate vocational courses to meet the demands of the 21st century job market, including certification in environmentally friendly janitorial services and digital print shop design. These new programs are designed to increase opportunities for those in his custody to become more marketable to potential employers upon release.
Prior to being appointed Sheriff, Koutoujian represented the 10th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts State Legislature, which includes Watertown, Waltham and Newton. While serving 14 years in the Legislature, Koutoujian held several leadership positions, including Chairman of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health and Chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care.
He authored and enacted laws to institute a workplace smoking ban, improve nutritional standards at our schools, increase protections for victims of domestic violence and allow for our state colleges to recognize their university-level curriculum. He also fought for increased funding for suicide prevention efforts as well as maintaining a state run nursing program (SANE) that focuses working with victims of sexual assault.
In addition, Koutoujian authored legislation and spent several years spearheading efforts to win approval for the Armenian Heritage Park (AHP), which opened in May of 2012. The AHP is located along the newly-created Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and serves as a gift from the Armenian-American community to the citizens of Boston.
In the spring of 2011, Sheriff Koutoujian's work on behalf of the Armenian community and devotion to his heritage earned him the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This national award is given annually to outstanding Americans from all walks of life that have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to this country and embody the patriotic values of our nation. In December of 2012, Koutoujian received the prestigious Mkhitar Gosh Medal from Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan in recognition of his leadership on behalf of the Armenian-American community.
Sheriff Koutoujian is a graduate of Bridgewater State University, the New England School of Law, and earned a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a lifelong resident of Waltham where he lives with his wife Elizabeth Cerda and their three children Peter, Cristian and Isabel.