From the Office of the Sheriff: Defunding of Law Enforcement | Beaufort County Now | There is a lot of misinformation being spread around Beaufort County about abolishing the Office of the Sheriff, establishing a County Police Department and the replacement of my deputies as school resource officers (SRO) with contracted private security.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

    There is a lot of misinformation being spread around Beaufort County about abolishing the Office of the Sheriff, establishing a County Police Department and the replacement of my deputies as school resource officers (SRO) with contracted private security.

    In the next several news releases I will explain and dispel a lot of this misinformation that has caused a lot of confusion and concern by the citizens of this county and is being intentionally spread by some Beaufort County Commissioners and members of the Beaufort County School Board. The Beaufort County Commissioners and School Board can spend all the money they want to on private security in your schools or any other wasteful projects in this county as long as the taxpayers keep allowing it, however, I assure the citizens of this county, Hood Richardson nor any other person alone can change the "NORTH CAROLINA STATE CONSTITUTION" that mandates "The office of the Sheriff". The North Carolina Supreme Court has already ruled on several cases that "The Office of the Sheriff is "not" an entity or "department" of a county and therefore, does not answer to county policy, procedures or ordinances. The common language when referring to the Sheriff's Office for many years has been "The Sheriff's Department", however, the proper title is "The Sheriff's Office or "The Office of the Sheriff" since it is an elected office and answers only to the people.

    The law establishes that the "funding" for the Office of the Sheriff comes from the taxpayers through the respective county government of each county.

    So, I rely on the taxpayers to fund the services that are in place for your protection and under my control. To abolish the North Carolina Sheriff would require, legislation to be introduced into the Legislature that would abolish the Office of the Sheriff and replace it with some other entity, THEN, voted on and PASSED by both chambers of state government, THEN, go to the State Board of Elections to be put on a ballot to be voted on in "A General Election" for the entire state to vote on an "Amendment to the State Constitution" to abolish the Office of the Sheriff and have the majority of North Carolina citizens vote for the abolishment. So, with that said does any citizen in this county really believe that the entire State of North Carolina knows, loves, and respects the opinions of a civilian part time politician county commissioner named Hood Richardson to actually allow this to happen? The people of this county are being intentionally misled for political purposes which is causing a lot of unnecessary frustration and time spent on defending the integrity and leadership of my Office.

    Services such as school security and courthouse security are services that are negotiated and contracted through the Sheriff "or" private companies. They are not mandated by the constitution or state law. I will continue to serve and protect Beaufort County as "A Constitutional Officer" that answers to the people who elected me and not county government. I was elected and sworn to protect the people of this county from enemies both foreign or domestic and despite the lack of financial support from the county I assure you I will continue to honor my oath to the people of this county to protect their safety and defend their rights.

    As far as a County Police Department, it would also take special legislation from the state legislature that would give Beaufort County permission to have a county police department. I have spoken with Representative Keith Kidwell and he advised me that Hood Richardson spoke with him about this. Representative Kidwell advised me that he told Commissioner Richardson that under no circumstance would he sponsor such a ridiculous bill. The chances of a bill of this magnitude getting through the legislature is practically 0%. There have only been two counties out of 100 that have had a county police department. Mecklenburg County, with a population of over one million people and Gaston County, with a population of over 200,000. Mecklenburg County has already abandoned that idea.

    Even if the people of this county allowed Hood Richardson to somehow have his own police department it would not affect the fact that the state constitution still mandates that the Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the County and with a population of under 50,000 people the commissioners would have to use the millions of dollars of COVID money that is coming in now to pay for this project just like the Beaufort County School Board is now doing to hire their own private police force for the schools. With no plan to pay for these self-serving projects on a continuous basis, in the future the commissioners and school board are counting on the government to continue to print money and put our children in a debt they will never recover from. Since the county commissioners just voted to give the school board an "additional" $650,000 to implement a private police force on top of what it cost to have my highly trained deputies protect your children in our schools. With this move I have had 18 sworn Deputies DEFUNDED since the first of this year.

    Your Sheriff,

    Ernie Coleman


  • Sheriff Ernie Coleman
  •     Beaufort County Sheriff's Office

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Comments

Uncle Jeb said:
( March 27th, 2021 @ 10:38 am )
 
Seems to me the main "source if disinformation" is coming from the High Office of Sheriff (i.e., Barney). I personally don't believe Keith Kidwell would go off half cocked and say what is attributed to him, seeing as how a committee is studying the issue of whether a county police force would be better than what we now have. I would choose to believe he would wait until all the facts and information are in before he takes a position. I could be wrong but this seems so far-fetched that I can't believe it until Keith confirms it publically. I would expect that whatever he said to Barney was taken by Barney for what he wanted said. We shall see.
( March 26th, 2021 @ 9:41 pm )
 
Great assessment, and I had a talk with The Hood about this today.

This is not a partisan issue; this is a common sense issue. As a real Conservative, I am always searching, seeking the common sense perspective has always been a constant process for me.
( March 26th, 2021 @ 8:24 pm )
 
Here's my take. I'll sum it quickly:

This has "distraction" written all over it. Note that the whole "defunding the sheriff's office" hullabaloo started on social media. Are the Cypr....BOCO swamp creatures purposely misleading the less informed through "GOP" members?

Think "projection".
( March 26th, 2021 @ 2:42 pm )
 
Thanks Uncle Jeb for your update on local matters here in the real.

You definitely brought forward the court house issue that occurred while I was taking a break from the commission, and the way you presented it revealed quite a number fluent ironies.

The issue that I have with this political movement by the Sheriff right now is his gross misrepresentation of commissioners defunding his office when we have spent record amounts of money to sustain his administration, often begrudgingly.

This needs to be well discussed during the Beaufort County County 2021 /2022 Fiscal Budget sessions.
Uncle Jeb said:
( March 26th, 2021 @ 1:40 pm )
 
I encourage your readers of Doofus Ernie’s diatribe to brush up on the “Nepolonic Complex” and apply it to this “press release.”
Little Ernie is a bully. He has to boast to try to compensate for his well-known shortcomings and insecurities.
He refused to provide security for our courthouse so the judges hired a rent-a-cop outfit to do it. Turned out fine.
He tried to blackmail the School Board and they did the same thing.
Bullying is not a good idea Ernie. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Little Barney (I mean Ernie) has spent more money than any Sheriff in Beaufort County’s history and most of it has never been accounted for. Call 911 and ask for a deputy to be sent out to your place and see how long it takes to get there, if at all. While Barney’s spending has gone up, the population has gone down. Take out the street punks he drags in for dope and there’s not much left that could be called crime fighting. But this you can count on. Barney and his top Elite will be driving the highest priced vehicles you can buy.
( March 26th, 2021 @ 6:55 am )
 
The issue, regarding the SRO debacle, was brought to light during this meeting in question; however one issue has nothing to do with the other and never has; it is a pure conflation.

The SRO issue is one that is solely between the School Board and Sheriff; however, the additional unbudgeted funding (not SRO related) from the commissioners, requested by the sheriff after the budget process was completed, has been conflated by the sheriff with this separate SRO issue, which now appears was meant to confuse the public, and direct some measure of consternation against the party (the commissioners) not bending to the sheriff's will.

That is the way I see it.
( March 25th, 2021 @ 3:40 pm )
 
This press release suggests that the Sheriff and Commissioner Hood Richardson have such a personal political squabble, which is so large, it is now effecting staffing within his department.

The problem seems to be quite a bit broader than just that one interpersonal political relationship between the high sheriff and the venerable county commissioner.



Beaufort County Emergency Management: COVID-19 Update (3-25-20) Local News & Expression, Community, Combat Crime Beaufort County Emergency Management: COVID-19 Update (3-26-20)


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On 10/14/2021, Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Drug Unit arrested, Nigel Peele. Peele was charged with Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Marijuana, Trafficking in Opioid and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
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On 07/29/2021, Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested John Earl Best, 44 years of age, of 121 Alderbrook Circle in Washington.

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On 08/12/2021, Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Drug Unit arrested Phillip Rahim Reeves, 39 years of age, of 7201 Hwy. 33 East in Chocowinity.
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Since 1998, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has helped neighborhoods and communities set up Community Watch groups.
Their arrest stemmed from Investigators receiving Crime Stopper complaints and complaints from concerned citizens.
On 04/16/2021, Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit arrested Tyler Douglas Woolard, 28 years of age, of 3723 Harvey Road in Washington.

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At about 2:00 am on Saturday, April 24, 2021 Beaufort County Deputies responded to the Beavers Dam Bar outside of Chocowinity to an unresponsive assault victim.

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