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A Message From the Sheriff

Post Date:06/19/2020 3:04 PM

Many community members have asked me to consider the 8-Can’t-Wait campaign strategies that are part of police reform proposed by Campaign Zero. They are:  

  1. Ban chokeholds/stranglehold’s
  2. Require de-escalation
  3. Require verbal warning before shooting
  4. Exhaust all possible alternatives before shooting
  5. Require that officers have a duty to intervene
  6. Ban shooting at moving vehicles
  7. Require a use of force continuum
  8. Require comprehensive use of force reporting

In the spirit of transparency, engagement, and accountability, I am pleased to report that after a review by my Senior Command Staff, Grace Marsh, Director of Community Engagement, and me, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office General Orders comply with all of the eight recommended actions items. 

I have been working to revise our general orders, the standards by which our deputies and detention officers conduct themselves. While some of the wording in our general orders may not exactly mirror the 8 policies, our orders conform to all of them.

As a law enforcement officer, my policing philosophies are rooted in the Principles of Law Enforcement penned by Sir Robert Peel in 1829. Some of these principles are more relevant today than when first introduced. These three principles especially stand out to me as I watch and listen to the protests throughout the county.

  • Recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  • Always recognize that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also securing the willing cooperation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  • Always maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, police being only members of the public paid to give full-time attention to duties that are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

As Sheriff it is incumbent upon me to listen to the community, learn how I can better serve, and create opportunities for collaboration to address public safety matters together.

We are One Community One Durham.