Local Politics

Opponent says Durham County sheriff out of touch

Posted October 19, 2010

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— Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill's name has become almost synonymous with his office, but his opponent in the upcoming election says Hill's long stretch of service makes his training dated.

Hill, a Democrat, has been sheriff for 16 years, and he worked for the Durham Police Department for about 30 years before that.

"I've done it all. Every division, every bureau, I've been in charge of it," he said Tuesday.

Roy Taylor, a Republican, said that he also has extensive law enforcement experience with a number of agencies, from the Cary Police Department to the Wake County Sheriff's Office to the North Carolina Army National Guard. He also has headed the Capitol Special Police, which provides security services for hire, since 2002.

"People criticize me because I have moved around a lot, but I would actually criticize the sheriff," Taylor said. "The sheriff would have been educated back in the '60s in his law enforcement career. He's been in law enforcement 46 years, and just like your first computer, it's got a life expectancy."

Hill called Taylor's argument "political rhetoric" and added that he intends to reinstate programs lost to recent budget cuts, such as efforts to reduce truancy, help the elderly and focus on juvenile probation.

Durham County Sheriff's Office patrol cars Durham County sheriff faces election challenge

"To do the things that we need to do, you need the resources to do them," he said.

Taylor said he wants to take the sheriff's office in a new direction and focus on helping inmates become productive members of society. He said he believes he can run the office without asking for more money from the Durham County Board of Commissioners.

"If I'm able to operate a police department at profit, I certainly can do it with government resources," he said.

Some voters have signed a petition challenging Taylor's eligibility to run for sheriff, citing a rule that a candidate must live in the district a year before the election.

Taylor said he has lived in Durham County for 10 years but moved to Wake County for a few months because of a divorce.

If he defeats Hill on Nov. 2, the county elections board will hold a hearing on the residency issue.

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  • workouttime Oct 20, 2010

    No disrespect Sheriff Hill, but yes, we pray you are out of touch. Your agency is running wild. Deputies sworn to protect our high school children are courting them, drug agents stealing drugs and drug money, off duty deputies working security for a counterfeit currency and drug ring. Please tell us you are out of touch! Please don’t let your community think you support this type of activity. Friends and family involved in all types of internal corruption. Millions of dollars missing from civil fines? Please tell us you are all done here. You have done a respectable job, but you have been retired for years and your command staff can’t control these cowboys. Everyone celebrate Sheriff Hill giving up this office and Sheriff Roy Taylor turning the “corruption ship” around.

  • Sherlock Oct 20, 2010

    It is better to have a businessman as a Sheriff, he does not need to have any LEO background as his job is to manage the Office and have the best possible under him to guide him. The Sheriff has nothing to do with law enforcement it only a political office.

  • Tax Man Oct 20, 2010

    I think it is time for a change! Taylor is a businessman with lots of modern law enforcement experience. Give him a shot, Hill has been there long enough.

  • cth1 Oct 20, 2010

    To say that Worth Hill is outdated because he's been in law enforcement for 46 years is ridiculous!! Find another argument. I'm not for or against Hill...but, I don't think Taylor has a strong argument. Show some facts to back up the statement that his practices are outdated!! (or, that "he's reached his life expectancy.") I didn't realize Sheriff's had an expiration date!

  • readme Oct 20, 2010

    Good luck to whoever wins. Durham is a crime-infested dump. I drive through the worst parts every day.