What Makes a Good Sheriff?
Chances are you haven’t given much thought to the county Sheriff. You may see an article in the newspaper concerning an arrest, a name on the ballot, or a patrol car on the side of the road with blue lights flashing. What is it that makes a county Sheriff unique among North Carolina law enforcement professionals? Well, I have some answers for you. The Sheriff is the only elected law enforcement official in the State. This means that every four years you, the residents of Pamlico County, decide whether the Sheriff has done a good job. He is accountable only to the residents of Pamlico County.
The Sheriff must be a professional law enforcement officer, trained in the latest law enforcement techniques and criminal justice procedures. To be truly effective, he must understand the integrity needed to do the job in a legal and responsible manner. The Sheriff is entrusted with protecting the lives and property of the citizens of this great County.
A good Sheriff must be one that the public can trust, can count on, and is held to a high standard. The citizens need to feel respected and not just viewed with suspicion. A good Sheriff will respect and form a partnership with citizens so they feel they are an integral part of effective law enforcement. He will listen to their comments, both negative and positive, because citizen input can lead to effective law enforcement. If the citizens feel that they are respected within the law enforcement community, they are more apt to provide tips and information that make a Sheriff's work much more effective. Remember, law enforcement is a team effort. A good Sheriff possesses these qualities and leads in a way that those under him will develop these qualities as well.
Above all, a Sheriff is more than an individual. He has an Office behind him made up of deputies and support personnel. It’s an organization of men and women dedicated to protecting and serving the people of our County. The Deputies are sworn law enforcement officers and derive their powers from the elected Sheriff. They are appointed by the Sheriff to uphold the laws and preserve the public peace.
A good Sheriff must temper law enforcement with intelligence, sound judgment, and sometimes restraint. As the highest elected official in the County, a Sheriff must be accountable to the citizens and show an ability to manage the operation in a fiscally responsible manner. A Sheriff must convey to the public that he is there to serve them. Pamlico County deserves a level of law enforcement that instills confidence in the citizens each and every day. I am grounded in my spirituality and believe in the value of each person. I understand that being entrusted as your Sheriff demands the highest standard of accountability.