Letter to the Editor: Atkinson would make an excellent police chief


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Although I was pleased that we the Edgecombe County Democratic Party appointed Clee Atkinson former State Patrol to be our new sheriff until the election of 2018 where he would have to file to run, I would love to see him become the new chief of police for Rocky Mount.

I have been knowing Clee Atkinson indirectly for many years as I have seen him on duty as State Patrol and also as a high school referee. However I remember when he and some other law enforcement men were helping out with coaching at Rocky Mount Senior High and being mentors for the young boys. Atkinson and those guys were reaching out to young boys trying to keep them off drugs and out of gangs.

I had researched Clee and all I was hearing about him was good things. I heard about how he and some other men were mentoring young boys at Thorne’s Chapel Church in Rocky Mount.

I will never forget back in the early 2000s one day on Highway 64 when State Trooper Clee stopped me and he was very professional.

Over the past several years as my son who is now 19 was playing football in middle school I watched how then State Trooper carried himself on and off the field. He earned my respect as a young man around 10 years younger than I. I am motivated by young men doing great things.

Clee knowing how active I am in politics in Edgecombe County reached out to me about two years ago and he told me that if Sheriff James Knight ever retired that he was thinking about running for sheriff but he said he would never run against him.

When Sheriff James Knight announced his retirement Clee had contacted me. I contacted the sheriff and asked him was his captain considering the appointment and he said no, so I then told Clee he had my support. But later I met with the captain and he had changed his mind and he had decided to seek the appointment. I said I have given Clee my support after talking to folk inside the Sheriff Office and in the community.

After learning more about Clee Atkinson over the past year, I found this brother to be a person that we need in law enforcement today. I found Clee to be a God-fearing brother who is very active in his church serving as an usher, deacon and youth director. I have heard him speak at several events and this brother is also a minister in my opinion but just not ordained. We need God-fearing men and women in law enforcement and that is what I find in Clee.

I could say more about this fine young man but I ask you to do your own research — however, you can find videos of him on my YouTube page because every chance I get I follow him because he motivates me. But you can also go to the Edgecombe County Sheriff Office website to see all of the good things he is doing.

I feel strongly that Clee Atkinson would be a great asset to Rocky Mount if he was the new chief. I feel strongly with all that is going on in Rocky Mount that Clee would be able to bring his experise and resources to the table being a resident of Rocky Mount living in the city limits.

Although I would hate not to be able to call Clee Atkinson my sheriff of Edgecombe County, I strongly feel that during this season he would be one of the best and/or the best persons the job.