The two Democrats vying for a chance to be the next Nash County sheriff said they have big plans for the department if elected.
Among the plans for each is manpower reallocation, including assigning more deputies to work patrol.
“I’d like to increase the drug unit, and I’d like to increase the patrol unit with more deputies on the street curtailing the break-ins and larcenies,” candidate Gene Braswell said. “I’d like to put deputies in specific zones, so they are able to build rapport with people in those areas.
“I want to make it so people in the community know who is working their zone, so if they have a need, they know what deputy to contact, which makes them feel more comfortable sharing concerns or information.”
Candidate Stanley “Big Griff” Griffin said he’d also take a look at manpower allocation.
“I’d like to look at how we utilize our reserve officers, and I’d be interested in hiring part-time officers to work the courts,” Griffin said. “I want to get more deputies on the streets working to serve and protect the citizens of this county. I’d work to distribute the civil processes to our patrol deputies, so the service is provided, but the citizens are getting better law enforcement coverage.”
As a retired Wake County deputy, Braswell said he has experience with all the responsibilities of the sheriff’s office, adding that neither of his opponents – Griffin or Republican candidate Keith Stone – have ever worked the civil side of law enforcement.
“I hope the people of Nash County will take race and politics and money out of this race,” Braswell said. “I hope they choose who is best qualified and capable of being the best candidate Nash County can have.”
Griffin said his varied background that includes police officer, U.S. Marine, substitute teacher, railroad conductor, music manager and licensed bail bond agent gives him a unique perspective that will serve all of the residents well.
“Law enforcement is not just about enforcing the law, it is about serving and protecting, too, because when you only enforce the law, you alienate the community,” Griffin said. “I recognize that law enforcement needs the support of the community to turn things around. We need all the resources we can get to lower crime, especially two significant crime drivers: unemployment and the high school dropout rate.”
Griffin said he’d like to lead a concerted effort to guide area youth to make responsible decisions and become productive members of society.
“It is important that people know law enforcement officers actually know and care about them and want them to do good,” Griffin said. “You have to be compassionate to what people’s needs are, and I think I’ve show that compassion over the years.”
Braswell said addressing crime trends is crucial to reducing all types of criminal activity.
“If elected, I would try to put together a task force to work with Rocky Mount police and the Edgecombe County deputies,” he said. “The biggest issues right now are home break-ins, larcenies, drugs and guns, largely in Rocky Mount, which we are responsible for as much as the police department is.”