First, I would like to have 4 more full time officers on patrol. This would enable me to divide the county up into zone coverage, therefore increasing community outreach in our communities, decreasing response times, and allow our officers to be more visible in the more rural parts of the county. There are 429 square miles in Ashe County with a population over 27,000 people. With the widening of US 221, the traffic volume into Ashe County is going to increase drastically. Although a lot of this will be tourist coming to see our beautiful county, it will also increase the opportunities for drug trafficking and other illegal crimes to be committed. The State Troopers do a wonderful job patrolling our roads but currently they do not have 24 hour coverage. The Sheriff’s Office must be able to assist the State Troopers in keeping our roads safe and from keeping the illegal drugs from entering our county.


Next, I want to see more training for our officers. Sheriff’s Training & Standards currently mandates in-service training annually. This is both in the classroom and on the firing range. I want to see this training broadened for our patrol officers, investigators, detention and communications so they can better serve the citizens of Ashe County. Most of this training can be either done through the Community College or the Justice Academy with minimal or no cost. This training will also be logged and given credit towards our officers reaching the goals and career development.


Next, everyone knows how rapidly the IT world is developing. I want to update our current body cams and Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) that are installed in our patrol vehicles. Most of our current equipment is 5 years or more in age, therefore out of warranty, and is beginning to have technical difficulties. There are smaller body cameras available now that include advanced capabilities. These cameras are clearer and produce a better quality of video/audio recordings and will help protect our officers as well as ensuring the people of Ashe County are treated respectfully and fairly.


As public servants for Ashe County, we must be available to the public 24/7. Through increased patrols and a larger department, we will be more readily available. We must educate our elderly and the people of this county about scams/frauds, opioid abuse, as well as tips to protect them from home break-ins. Community involvement and interaction between the Sheriff’s Office employees and the citizens of Ashe County is a must as we continue to earn the public’s trust and respect. I want to see that the Sheriff’s Office continues to partner with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in holding the annual Cops and Kids Program, where funds are raised to assist local families in need to purchase Christmas gifts for children. This program allows deputies to take these children to a store of their choice and shop with these children and purchase the gifts they choose. Another program I want the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office to continue to participate in, is “No Shave November.” Local officers and deputies donate money and are therefore allowed to grow a beard for the entire month of November. The money raised is then donated to another family in need. I want to see our deputies volunteering and participating in local events to further build that relationship between the public and the employees of the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office. 


The protection and supervision of our children in the school system continues to be a major focus in North Carolina and the United States. The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association is developing a standardized training that each School Resource Officer must complete and comply with. It is a necessity that we continue to educate and train our SRO’s to make sure they are prepared to deal with any event that may occur at one of our schools.