Hoke County Swears Sheriff Into Office
Posted December 17, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
RAEFORD — Investigations are being conducted into allegations of illegal campaigning, acts of vandalism, two fires and three shootings. But Friday there was a peaceful transition of power when Jim Davis was sworn into office as Hoke County's first black sheriff.
Metal detectors guarded the doors to Raeford City Hall, but the extra security did not dampen the spirits of Davis' supporters.
The standing room only crowd erupted in applause and shouts of support when Davis was sworn in. Afterward, he talked about the racial tension that has divided the County.
"It has been a tumultuous journey to get to this place," said Davis. "But now that we are here, we intend to serve Hoke County and its citizens to the best of our ability."
New deputies and jailers, some brought in by Davis, were also sworn in.
Davis' brother, Bill Davis, who is also a police chief, says winning over his staff will be Davis' first challenge.
I think if he manages to secure support from within his organization to get behind him, I think Hoke County is in for a treat," said Bill Davis.
Thursday, someone tried to set the Davis campaign manager's house on fire. They succeeded in torching his car. Last weekend, someone fired dozens of bullets into former sheriff Wayne Byrd's home.
Residents hope the violence of the past few weeks is behind them now.
Davis' swearing in was postponed for two weeks while the State Elections Board investigated charges of illegal campaigning.
The board will meet in January to discuss those allegations.