Sheriff Mark Donaldson, born at Midland Memorial Hospital in 1954 though his parents lived in Odessa. Mark has lived in Odessa since he came home from the hospital. He graduated from Permian High School in 1972. He then attended Odessa College where he earned an associate degree in Police Science. He went on to earn a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas-Permian Basin in 1977.
He married his lovely wife, Debbie, in 1978. They have two sons, Luke and John, who both attented college away from home. Luke and his wife Shauna presented Mark and Debbie with their first granddaughter, Allison, in 2007. They live and work out of state. John returned to the Permian Basin, where is now employed.
Mark began his law enforcement career at the Odessa Police Department in 1977 where he served as a police officer until 1978, at which time he went to work for the Ector County Sheriff's Office. He worked for the Sheriff's Office until 1998, working his way from Deputy through Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Inspector and Chief Deputy. During the Yearwood administration he went to work as Chief Bailiff for Ector County Courthouse Security where he remained until 2001, at which time he was elected as Sheriff of Ector County, his present position.
Sheriff Donaldson holds a Master Peace Officer license. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1984, and has in excess of 4200 training hours on file with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education.
During his tenure as sheriff, Mark has made many improvements at the Sheriff's Office, including:
- Construction of a shooting range at the Law Enforcement Center
- Enhanced firearms training with training simulator
- Implementation of Project Lifesaver
- Implementation of a working inmate program
- Formation of a Special Investigations Unit
- Formation of a Special Operations Response Team in the detention center
- In-car video in all patrol units
- Acquisition of body armor for all street deputies
- Acquisition of Tasers for street deputies and detention personnel
- Computers in marked vehicles
- Implemented a more structured training program for employees
- Implemented a crime analysis unit
- Brought the Detention Center into compliance with State Jail Standards
- Salary increases for employees
- and many others