Meet Perquimans County Sheriff Candidates Part 3 -- by Laura Bush Jenkins

8) As Sheriff, how will you make sure police aren’t abusing
the badge?
Jim Bray: “ An accountable chain of command and supervision
of those who oversee the road will create checks
and balances. A detailed report must happen. It is something
required.
I would also create a standard that all officers would wear
the same uniform and be clean shaven to project a strong
professional image.”
Shelby White: “I’m only as good as the sheriff’s office.
They are only as good as me. If there is an incident, I’ll
sit down and talk to the offender and address the issue at
hand. Perhaps they need more training, or we could move
them somewhere around their gifting or release them.
9) As far as hiring practices, what will you look for in an
applicant?
Jim Bray: “ I will conduct a background check and go to
[the applicant’s] high school and former employers to find
out their character. Small counties are prime ground if
officers want to move up in their careers later.
It’s true that the younger officers are expecting higher
salaries and moving to cities like Raleigh and Charlotte.
Today money is a component of what the younger generation
is seeking.
A recruitment program is the goal, but I must work with
County Commissioners. If I raise the standard of law
enforcement in the county, Commissioners may recognize
this and raise staff pay.”
Shelby White: “Do they have heart, drive, and humility? I
don’t want someone who’s arrogant, that’s not someone I
want. I don’t want someone that’s just running numbers.
Whenever we look at applications, we conduct background
checks and talk to people they’ve worked with in
the past.
Whenever you got into this type of job, you knew it would
be stressful. You don’t want someone who’s just collecting
a paycheck. I ask the applicants why they chose Perquimans.
Many say: ‘I see how Perquimans works, and there’s
structure, a family, support.’
The problem I have many times with hiring is the pay. I
couldn’t touch the pay of the last person I attempted to
hire because his current position paid 5 times more than
Perquimans. County commissioners control the money
and there’s only so much I can do.”
10) Does an applicant have to complete BLET before
working at the Sheriff’s Office?
Jim Bray: “A deputy has one year to complete BLET while
working.”
Shelby White: “No, they can be hired before completing it
within the first year.”
11) How hard is it for you to make a decision to fire someone
if there is a complaint? In particular, residents who
connected with our staff mentioned an incident where two
employees in the Animal Control department were having
inappropriate sexual relations on the job. Only one staff
member was fired and the other kept the position.
Jim Bray: “A Sheriff doesn’t have to have a reason to fire
someone. The animal control works under the sheriff in
this county, so I would have the ability to fire them.
When a new Sheriff takes office and gets sworn in December
1st, people working as deputies are also sworn in. If
the sheriff does not want to have them under employment,
he simply doesn’t swear them in.”
Shelby White: “A Sheriff can choose to release someone,
but you have to document. [In the incident you mentioned,]
it happened under Sheriff Tilley. There was a public
misconception. The person who left wanted to resign
and the other person was suspended. No crime occurred
on the job, so he was able to keep his position.”
12) Why should we elect you as Sheriff?
Jim Bray: “ I’m a strong leader who will restore professionalism
into local law enforcement. I’m not afraid of making
critical decisions and I like to make them.
I’m not afraid to arrest people, even if it’s the County Commissioners
and it is required by the law.
I’m retired and don’t have to do this. I am because I believe
in making a difference. I’m an outsider from Chowan
County and don’t owe anyone special favors.”
Shelby White: “I love Perquimans County and have lived
here my whole life. I’ve dedicated my whole career since
age 20 to working in Perquimans County Sheriff’s office.
I put myself through BLET at age 21 because I wanted to
do it. I want to give back to the community and continue
to put the ‘serve’ back in ‘serve and protect.’
Drug use is 80% less likely among young people if they
have positive relationships. Every Tuesday, the HOPE
program I support brings law enforcement officers to the
schools, building relationships.
The Sheriff’s Office grew their turnout this year for a
program at Camp Cale reaching 12 middle school and 20
Hertford Grammar School students selected by counselors
and teachers. We play games and interact with the kids,
talking about the future they have. Mothers have called
my office thanking me for the encouragement we’ve provided
in being a role model and father figure to children.”

Shelby White

Jim Bray

Meet Perquimans County Sheriff Candidates Part 3 -- by Laura Bush Jenkins Meet Perquimans County Sheriff Candidates Part 3 -- by Laura Bush Jenkins Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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