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Butler retires, Wright to be Cumberland County's first black sheriff

Posted November 10, 2016

— After 22 years as Cumberland County Sheriff, Earl “Moose” Butler is retiring and paving the way for his Chief Deputy, Ennis Wright, to become the Cumberland County Sheriff.

Wright will make history as the county's first black sheriff. Butler has strongly recommended County Commissioners appoint Wright after he retires December 31.

“I feel it’s an honor to be the first. It’s always special to be the first,” Wright said.

“He’s a man who has come through the ranks. He’s a man who is today the chief deputy,” Butler said.

Wright is from Fayetteville and graduated from Terry Sanford High School. He's an Army Veteran and has been in Law Enforcement since 1994.

“We’re going to carry on this agency as being professional,” Wright said. “We have professional officers here. We’re going to continue what (Butler) started, and we’re going to grow.”

Wright joins Anthony Kelly as a top lawman in Cumberland County. Kelly was appointed Interim Police Chief in August when former Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock stepped aside to retire. Both men recognized it is a difficult time to be in law enforcement.

“We have an excellent relationship with our other law enforcement partners, and that plays a big part in having a good quality law enforcement in your community,” Kelly said.

Fayetteville Fire Chief Ben Major has been a firefighter for 33-years and said he has loved being a role-model for young people

“They learn more from role models and from mentoring,” Major said. “Having people mentoring them, and it’s important to see people who look like you because that gives you an idea of ‘Hey that can be me.’”

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  • Kenneth Jones Nov 10, 2016
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    Butler must have planned this so Wright could be Sheriff. I'm guessing a special election for this race? Butler is a good sheriff and I'm sure he trained Wright well. Wish them both the best of luck.