New Guilford County sheriff’s controversial dismissals

There a new sheriff in Guilford County–or at least there will be on Monday–and he’s coming in with a bang—Sheriff-elect Danny Rogers has–as the Rhino Times outs it—fired a slew of officers— and the county commission chairman is not happy:

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Alan Branson said that Rogers’ move to fire a slew of officers, including some very high ranking and experienced ones, is a major cause of concern. Branson said he learned of the move by reading the Rhino Times on Tuesday, Nov. 27 and he immediately forwarded the article to other commissioners.

“I think it’s scary times,” Branson said. “I don’t know where the Sheriff’s Office is headed. This is very scary, very troubling.”

Branson said one major concern is that the Sheriff’s Department has had trouble hiring and keeping good officers – even prior to the current turmoil in the department – so to clean out 27 or more employees could lead to a lack of adequate staff.

Branson also said the way it was done was unprofessional. He said he wished that those who were close to retirement age would have been given time to serve for a few additional months until they could qualify full retirement benefits.

Rogers’ election itself was controversial; he had not been in law enforcement for about the same time outgoing Sheriff BJ Barnes held his position. Perhaps more troubling is Rogers’ quote in the News & Record that “we want to make sure we have people who share the vision we have and can get out in the community.” Is there a “vision” when it comes to law enforcement?

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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