Local News

Community Leaders Show Their Support To Embattled Sheriff

Posted February 13, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— It has been a tough year for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, with claims ofsexual harassment and discrimination. But during this time of trouble, some people want to show Sheriff Earl Butler that they remember the good he is doing.

Living in Cumberland County for more than 30 years, community leader Rex Harris has seen a lot of sheriffs come and go. He says he can remember how it was before Butler came into office.

"I can go back to a time when I couldn't depend on the Sheriff's Office. I can go back to a time when a cross was burning in my yard, and I couldn't get a response from the sheriff," he says.

Under Butler's leadership, Harris says he has seen crime go down, and more opportunities open up for African Americans, such as the recent promotion ofCapt. Jackie Paul, the new Chief of Detectives.

"To have a sheriff that will support you and your community is such an asset," says business leader Arnold Coley.

Harris and other local leaders have decided to show Sheriff Butler their appreciation for his service. They say it is not in response to recent allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination that have plagued the Sheriff's office since January.

"He'll do what's right. He'll do what's ethical. He'll do what's legal, so I don't think we have any problems with that," says business owner Arnold Coley.

The appreciation rally is scheduled at the Christ Village Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.