We sat and talked for more than an hour.
I found Scott Hammonds, candidate for Beaufort County Sheriff, to be a thoughtful and considerate person. He seemed to be level headed in replying to my questions.
Hammonds has a successful 30 year career in law enforcement and the military. This is an accomplishment that requires dedication and self discipline. His experience in dealing with day to day law enforcement issues, in opart, originates from his work at the Chocowinity Police Department and the Highway Patrol. This experience is not limited to the usual quarreling neighbors, trespassing, and domestic conflicts. He has taught special courses in how to evaluate potential drug traffickers and how to make the arrest in such a way that a conviction can be obtained in the court system. He taught courses in hazardous waste regulations. His experience as a Military Policeman will be helpful to Beaufort County.
Hammonds managed to obtain other useful experience by periodically working in industry. He has rubbed shoulders with many within Beaufort County Society.
Guns have been close to him. I ask how he felt about the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He indicated that he would not be taking any guns without a specific court order, and that he would resist any government orders to take guns that they thought to be illegal. This should give all of us comforting feelings considering past sheriffs have not been very specific in answering questions about the Second Amendment.
One of Hammonds accomplishments regarding guns is noteworthy. At one time Hammonds was ranked Number 15 in the nation as a machine gunner. He obtained this status by participating in machine gun competitions.
He did not hesitate to answer questions about some recent controversies in the Sheriff's Department. He took a strong position that County property should not be used for personal benefit. Deputies, under his watch, will not be allowed to use county property for personal gain.
Another item discussed was the availability of the Sheriff to the public. Hammonds indicated that he planned to keep a somewhat regular work schedule and to be available to meet with the public. He stated that he planned to have an open door policy. You can make an appointment to see the Sheriff. This will go a long way to re-establish credibility with the public.
Hammonds is aware of the abuse of overtime. He is not against overtime. He did say overtime should be justified when used.
Hammonds is concerned about the use of illegal drugs in Beaufort county. He is committed to a comprehensive and coordinated plan to address drug abuse. He plans to cooperate with all agencies and neighboring counties, in addressing the problem of illegal drugs in our county. I got the feeling that he will spend some time studying the drug situation before developing a plan to combat drugs. He indicated one of his goals is to push back on the drug business in Beaufort County.
Hammonds, unlike the last two sheriffs, did not appear to be egotistical. He does not seem to run on testosterone, nor is he hyper. He seems to be a man who is thoughtfully in control of himself. He does not jump to conclusions giving quick confrontational answers.. None of his answers indicated that he is easily threatened or that he will "play favorites".
At long last we have a mature, adult, Christian, candidate for Sheriff of Beaufort County. In my opinion the greatest job the new sheriff will face is re-establishment of credibility and integrity to the Sheriff's Office. Scott Hammonds appears to have the temperament, dedication and experience to do just that. The culture of the Sheriff's Office is in great need of improvement, and we all pray that Scott will be imminently successful in this necessary endeavor.
In Closing We Offer a Number Scott's Noteworthy Accomplishments
- Scott Hammonds was promoted to Senior Examiner (District Level) at age 26 years old.
- Scott Hammonds served with DMV Enforcement State Police promoted as Trainer/Training Officer
- Scott Hammonds NC Highway Patrol District Sergeant in charge of troopers in two county district. These duties involved management of personnel, responding to various events that required supervisor actions
- Scott Hammonds honorably Retired with “Order of long leaf pine”