Law Enforcement

Melissa McKnight/Jackson Public Health

Rural counties in Western North Carolina are vaccinating first responders.  BPR went to a mass COVID-19 vaccination in Jackson County.

A cold wind blows outside the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee. But it hasn’t stopped officers, firefighters and first responders from lining up to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.

“There’s actually been a good turn out. It was actually real smooth once we got in line.”  

That’s Kent Davis, a deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  He’s worked in law enforcement for more than 35 years.

Matt Bush

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association has shared a series of recommendations to “improve the law enforcement profession” statewide.  BPR looks at efforts around transparency: 

The association is made up of all 100 sheriffs in the state. A group of 10 started working on this report after the death of George Floyd this summer. 

“I’m excited about the whole thing to be honest,” said Miller.  

That’s Sheriff Quentin Miller of Buncombe County who represented the Western region (10th district).

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Black Lives Matter protests across the nation have sparked rallies in support of law enforcement.

 

Hundreds turned out for the Back The Blue Rally hosted in part by Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland. 

 

“We have people here from Jackson County, Macon County, Swain County, Clay County. We have people from all over who came out here to support us,” explains Holland.

 In the crowd you hear someone yell: “Andrews.”

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The town of Andrews has transferred their police department over to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s leadership.

 

Andrews Police Chief Michael Hobgood resigned at the beginning of July. This week, Andrews' Mayor James Reid says that instead of searching for a new police chief the town board decided it should transfer its three police officers to the leadership of the Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer. 

 

Pexels

Sheriffs across North Carolina will not enforce the statewide order on wearing face masks in public.  Here’s why: 

 

Eddie Caldwell is Executive Vice President for the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association.

 

“We’ve tried to read it and explain it to the sheriff’s in as clear language as we possibly could,”says Caldwell. 

 

After a national search with input from the community,  Asheville has named Chris Bailey as the city's new Police Chief.