Local News

N.C. Sheriff's Association meets for 93rd annual convention

Posted July 29, 2015 6:40 a.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2015 5:51 p.m. EDT

— After nearly 30 years in law enforcement—13 as sheriff in Hoke County—Hubert Peterkin has reached another milestone.

Flanked by his wife and children, and with his hand on the Bible, Peterkin was sworn in Tuesday night as president of the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association. Peterkin was also given one of the state's highest honors, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Sheriffs and law enforcement personnel from across the state are taking part in the 93rd annual Sheriff's Association Convention at Sunset Beach, where they’ve spent the week focusing on a range of concerns of lawmen across the country.

Peterkin said he's already focused moving the organization forward.

“Continue training … picking up where our last president left off,” Peterkin said. “Working closely with our General Assembly, that’s important. We’re all on the same team, making sure that our sheriffs all over the state of North Carolina have the same resources that they need.”

Cumberland County Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler has been one of Peterkin's mentors and biggest supporters.

“When he became sheriff in Hoke County, they made a great choice. It’s been proven to be a great choice over the years,” Butler said. “He’s been a man of vision. He’s been a man that’s brought county and law enforcement to the top.”

Law enforcement from across the state have talked about turning their image around during the annual conference.

There is now a lot of attention on community policing, getting officers more familiar with the citizens they're paid to protect and serve.

“This week has been about rebuilding trust,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. “Getting the commitment of our communities, letting them know that we are there to take care of them.”

As more counties can afford them, body cameras on officers will become commonplace.

“Community policing is a way of life for us,” Butler said. “This is a daily activity. Our people stop, talk and visit—that’s more important.”

Peterkin said that, despite the advancements in law enforcement technology, good policing is about have good people behind the badge.

“I think that was the best money we ever spent, bar none,” Peterkin said. “We think that it has been an absolute blessing for us in the Hoke County community. People feel better about it. They trust us more. We don’t have anything to hide. It’s about accountability.”