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Cumberland sheriff to retire

Posted November 9
Updated November 10

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— Longtime Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler plans to announce his retirement Thursday.

Butler, who has headed the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office since 1994, is expected to hold a news conference to discuss the move.

"For 22 years I have had the honor and the privilege to serve as the Sheriff and to lead the best Sheriff's Office imaginable," Butler said in a news release. "The deputies, detention officers, civilian personnel, traffic control officers, and all of the employees of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office deserve honor and praise, and I thank each of them."

The 79-year-old grew up in Cumberland County and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before becoming sheriff, he worked as a teacher and guidance counselor in Cumberland County Schools and as a state probation and parole officer.

"I feel like it's just time," he said. "It's proper for me to make the exit and leave it in the hands of a very capable person who has been working for me for about 18 years."

Butler said Chief Deputy Ennis Wright will serve the final two years of his term.

Butler has taken his department through a number of changes, including making it a fully accredited law enforcement agency. Butler also spearheaded the building of a new $52 million detention center, but he said he will never forget his shopping with the sheriff program.

"It's always been a blessing, no matter how rough it's been during the years, to go out there with those children and their families, and watch them walk up and down the aisles and be able to shop and have a Christmas," Butler said.

Butler's last day in office will be Dec. 31.

"I leave the Sheriff's Office with humility but also with a certain sense in pride, not that I have achieved something, but pride in and with the men and women of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office in what they have achieved and what they will continue to achieve," he said.

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  • Joey Cuddington Nov 12, 10:36 p.m.
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    Thank you for your many yeyars of service. Enjoy your retirement - you've earned it!