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Training and leadership should be foremost in any Sheriff’s mind. Providing training for the Deputies will enhance their skills and keep them in front of trends in Law enforcement. We have a training center right here in Macon County. As your Sheriff I will utilize that center for maximum results. Additionally if there is training that can be brought in for reasonable costs, I will partner with the Southwestern Community College, Public Safety Training Center to bring that training in.
I have already researched some training that I want every Deputy to attend. That is the De-escalation training that is currently being offered through the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office. This training is designed to provide the Deputies with the skills necessary to reduce the likelihood they will use deadly force. This could save lives and money. While Deputies are provided with a short class on de-escalation through their yearly in-service training, this is a much more in depth class and will be valuable to them.
I will ensure Deputies, particularly supervisors, are trained for the next step in their careers. A well trained agency will ensure we are the most professional and forward looking agency in the state.


This is the eighth and final post in the series of candidate comparison. I am highlighting the issues and which of your candidates have comments on or made a plan to address. A reminder that these were researched only using the campaign Facebook pages. Because it appears there were a couple who misunderstood the below listings, I will now ensure all candidates are listed. If they did not comment on it I will indicate that next to their name..
Election Issue: Leadership/Training
Candidate: Bryson
Date/General idea of posting
07/06/21: Continue strong relationship with Southwestern Community College. (until Jun 10th, 2021, MCSO rarely used SCC/PSTC in the past 2 ½ years).
He talks about saving taxpayer money.
Will continue education and training opportunities.
Election Issue: Leadership/Training
Candidate: Jones
Date/General idea of posting
11-04-21: Education and experience is invaluable.
Manage detention facility. Highest liability area.
Election Issue: Leadership/Training
Candidate: Cook
Date/General idea of posting
02/03/22: Leadership definition. Listen to everyone and implement.
01/24/22: Leadership training is a top priority.
Each Deputy gets the training they need to further their careers.
De-Escalation training at Charlotte/Mecklinburg SO.
J.A.I.L. Administrator Leadership Academy.
01/16/22: Train deputies for the next step in careers.
11/27/21: De-escalation training.
11/09/21: Vision for MCSO.
Best training for deputies.
09/13/21: Deescalation training.
Contacted CMSO. Asked about sending deputies after election.
Value of training. Minimize questionable uses of force.
4-5 Deputies at a time may be able to attend.
Stats on benefit value to Macon County.
09/13/21: De-escalation Training.
Called CMSO to inquire about training.
Another tool in our toolbelt.
Send small teams for training.
09/09/21: Training the leadership.
Send to leadership academies.
FBI Academy
Ensure senior leadership is ready to step up.
07/05/21: Building leaders.
07/05/21: Training for the next position.
Use SCC/PSTC. (Last two and a half years, rarely seen MCSO.)
Promotional processes.
Establish an assessment process.
Testing and interviewing.
06/07/21: Training and efficiency.
Rarely used SCC/PSTC.
Will use them fully. (in-service and advanced classes).
Election Issue: Leadership/Training
Candidate: Holbrooks
Date/General idea of posting
No comments were made on this issue.
Election Issue: Leadership/Training
Candidate: Browning
Date/General idea of posting
No comments were made on this issue.
Upon completion of this series of comparisons, it is clear that I am the only candidate that spends time researching and making proposals that would benefit the citizens of Macon County. Each of these areas are critical in making us less susceptible to lawsuits.
I will continue to expound on the issues The citizens have expressed concerns about. I appreciate the support I receive and please continue to contact me privately or via my Facebook or website pages. I can be reached at 371-4475.


Yesterday, I posted about what I believe makes a good leader. Partly, it was taking responsibility for whatever happens under your watch and understanding the buck stops with you. This is one of those postings
Yesterday, I answered a posting by Betty Cloer Wallace about a facilities plan and what do we think is needed and how do we get to it. I responded with my vision on all of that, in addition I mentioned how I believed we need to combine some spaces to place administrative office in one location., I mentioned a building owned by the county that I was advised was sitting empty. Last night I was questioned about those three lines regarding the empty building by Brittany Lofthouse. I was pretty confident in my information so I stood my ground. However, as I do not like to put out incorrect information, today I decided to walk through the building rather than looking in the window from the sidewalk. On the sidewalk, I saw what appeared to be empty rooms. I did not do this previously as it was not my place to walk through various buildings.
I want to go on record saying that Ms. Lofthouse was correct in that the floor I was on was occupied. As I posted yesterday, I accept responsibility for that information being incorrect and I apologize for those three lines where I mentioned "could be used."
I had much to say in that post which was a wish list of things once I am elected. I believe Ms. Lofthouse who stated she has a superior knowledge of the MCSO than I do. After all, she has been around that agency in a much closer position than i have. However, I would like to point out that a Sheriff's Office regardless of where it is physically located has many similarities. The law is the law, personnel management is pretty much the same and how the job is done is pretty similar. It would appear that any new ideas of how to do things are misinformation and false in her opinion. This should raise a red flag to any voter in the county. She believes my plans are unattainable and therefore false. She believes, based on her superior knowledge, that I can't develop a plan to ensure there is at least some coverage in underserved areas. She believes that I can't be more successful in the addressing of the drug issue than what has already been done. She believes I can't have new ideas on reorganization of the agency to make it more responsive and efficient.
I could go on and on about her words in reference to my "detailed plans," but it serves no purpose. If my detailed plans are something that the citizens of Macon County thinks can't be done, they will let me know whenever we have a primary. Until then, I will continue to detail my plans because that is what the citizens of Macon County have asked me to do and they deserve an answer. I will say this, I have not put out any plan or proposal that I do not believe can be done.
Again, I apologize to Ms. Lofthouse for any stress this has caused her. That is what a leader does.
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As a leader you understand the buck stops with you. You understand you are responsible for everything that happens under your watch. As a leader you have to be willing to accept responsibility for the actions of those who work under you, even if you were asleep when it happened. As a leader you must listen to those who work for you as well as those you serve. Everyone brings something to the table. Listen for the good ideas. Implement what you can, where and when you can.
I will be that leader.


Whenever I would check into a new command in the Navy, I would gather my men around and tell them what they can expect from me.  More importantly, I would tell them what I expected from them.  I would explain that I do not mind bad news, but I detest late bad news.  Meaning that if you make a mistake, and all of us will, you need to let me know as soon as possible.  Being told by someone else was unacceptable.  


I also gave my supervisors the authority to do their job.  I bring this experience to the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.  I will not only give my staff the authority,  I will make them responsible for doing their job.  If, and this is important, I find my staff looking the other way and not taking action when they see any corruption, they will no longer be a supervisor and may not be an officer with my agency.


If we want to build trust within our community, we start with us.  This is what I learned while being leadership tested.  This is experience proven.  


Monday Musing
Leadership training is one of my top priorities. The purpose is to provide the citizens of Macon County an organization whose deputies are the best trained deputies in North Carolina. As such I have committed to ensuring each deputy gets the training they desire to further their careers. I have noticed a couple of my opponents mention that training is a priority for them. I am happy to hear they agree with me. My question is why am I the only one who has provided some details into what I intend to do?

As a reminder, I previously mentioned the de-escalation training I intend to send as many deputies to that I am allowed. I have already spoken to a Charlotte/Mecklenburg Police Academy supervisor about the possibility of sending my deputies to their location to receive the training. It has been reported that this program is a state of the art training facility. When your Sheriff’s Office has a questionable shooting or use of force, one of the first questions is usually what were the alternatives? What was their training? This will ensure our deputies are trained to recognize those alternatives which will reduce our taxpayer liability.

The next thing I have recently researched was an article about a new program provided by the Jail Administrators Institute of Leadership (J.A.I.L.). It is a comprehensive two week training program designed to provide leadership skills to veteran and new jail administrators. They just graduated 41 students with the tools to be successful as jail administrators. I see this as a necessity to ensure our facility is abiding by the state laws requiring how jails are administered. Additionally, it enhances skills necessary to mentor those who may want to aspire to the position of jail administrator or other leadership positions within the detention field. This was the first time the class was offered. I hope our Jail Administrator is considered to attend the next class.
These are just two of the classes I have already researched and will consider sending my deputies in order to give them the tools they need to become leaders. As your Sheriff I will continue to work just as hard as I do now to bring new and innovative ideas in the service of our citizens. This is an example of leading from the front. This is what proven leadership does.

A true leader and manager is not solely reactive. Waiting for a problem to occur before he fixes it. We have been reactive for too long. Being proactive foresees the needs of his organization as well as the needs of the citizens and make plans accordingly.

I am that leader. I am that Sheriff.


Leading from the front is what tested leadership does based on proven experience. I will not hesitate to train my deputies to take the next step in their career paths.


As your Sheriff, one of my primary responsibilities is to ensure that my deputies are trained to minimize our citizens exposure to questionable uses of force. That is why a few weeks ago I researched and proposed training our deputies at one of the most state of the art de-escalation training facilities in the United States. It just so happens that it is located here in North Carolina. That will make our Office more professional and give the citizens of Macon County confidence that when force is used, it was necessary. That is what real forward thinking is. That is what being leadership tested and experience proven is all about!


This week I want to touch on some training that EVERY Law Enforcement Officer can use.
A couple weeks ago, one of the law enforcement related websites I follow published an article announcing a training facility that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department had opened. According to the article this facility was a state of the art facility and was the first of it’s kind in the southeastern United States and one of only a few in the United States as a whole.
This facility was dedicated to de-escalation training. For those who are unfamiliar with that type of training, what it is in a nutshell is the following:
“De-escalation tactics and techniques are those actions undertaken by an officer(s) to avoid physical confrontations, unless immediately necessary to protect someone or to stop dangerous behavior, while minimizing the need to use force during an incident when the totality of circumstances and time permit.”
What this does is provide another tool for the deputies to use when confronted with a potentially violent situation. According to Louisville PD statistics, this training resulted in 28% fewer use of force incidents by officers, 26% fewer injuries to citizens, and a 36% reduction in Officer injuries. This can be quite a savings to an average department.
The other day I spoke with a CMPD Sergeant at their academy about the possibility of sending small groups of officers to be trained by their staff in their new facility after I am elected. He explained that they have only been open a short time but the potential to offer training to outside agencies has been discussed by his leadership. I asked if, when I am elected did he think that there may be a possibility for us to send some officers to them for training. He advised that it is certainly a possibility in small groups of five or so. That way, they would be able to handle it in-house without bringing in outside trainers. That is a cost savings to Macon county.
The bottom line is if I am elected, I will send small teams of deputies to this training as it is available. The benefit to the citizens of Macon county is that they can be assured their deputies will receive the most up to date training in this valuable skill set.
Keeping abreast of these forward thinking trends will make the citizens of Macon county safer. It will ensure the MCSO even more professional than it is now and result in significant amounts of valuable tax dollars spent as a result of injuries to both our officers and citizens.
This type of thinking and detailed planning is the result of 20 plus years of experience as a law enforcement officer and 20 years leadership experience in the military.
Being leadership tested and experience proven will allow me to build on the foundation that Sheriff Robert Holland has built.


I was fortunate this week to have my inspiration for this Monday Musing come from a recent posting from none other than Sheriff Holland. He posted about how proud he was of the three deputies that are running for the Office of the Sheriff position. He mentioned a number of times about how they have sacrificed for their county for many years. Sheriff Holland and I agree on a few things there. I agree he should be proud of his deputies. I agree they sacrifice for the citizens of Macon county. I emphatically agree that the men and women of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office are a very professional group of men and women who do their job every day for an inadequate amount of compensation. I would be just as proud to lead the men and women of the MCSO as I ever was to lead any team in the U.S. Navy! That is about as far as our agreement goes though.

I need to correct a few items of misinformation that the Sheriff mentioned. I also make these observations solely as it pertains to me. As he certainly could be talking about one other candidate aside from me, I believe these comments were directed at me. After all, the four candidates running against me have all served the citizens of Macon county as a member of the Sheriff’s Office.

One of the first statements I take issue with is Sheriff Holland’s statement “these three are the only candidates who have been part of a team.” I was part of a much larger team well before the Sheriff or any other candidate in this race even thought of being part of the MCSO team. I joined team Navy in 1972 during the Viet Nam War and remained an integral part of team Navy until the Gulf War in 1992. It was while a member of team Navy I learned the leadership and people management skills I will bring to the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. While their team was a part of Macon county, my team encompassed Macon county as well as many others in every state and many countries. It was while a member of team Navy I learned service, sacrifice and teamwork. I submit that team Navy was just as important as the MCSO team. My family made those sacrifices right along with me. It appears that in the Sheriff’s opinion, only someone from this county should be chosen to lead the MCSO. Talk about a negative statement directed towards the thousands of Macon county residents who have chosen to move to this great place as well as those who chose to serve this great county and country in the military. Does Sheriff Holland think that we should be heard and not seen or we can’t possibly offer anything to benefit our county just because, like him, we didn’t grow up here.
I do have a confession to make. I do use the word “I” in many of my detailed plans I have put forth. My use of the word “I” is appropriate. When you see my name on the ballot, you are electing me. You are voting for the policies, procedures and proposals I have campaigned on. That being said, it appears he prefers the term “we” because it apparently is what you get when you vote for one of the other opponents. In their case “we” encompasses the policies and procedures that so many citizens tell me need to change. As Sheriff Holland pointed out, “they” have had decades to make or influence the changes that many citizens believe need to be made.
It was noted (several times) that I am running a negative campaign. I will once again ask the question: How do you identify areas which in your judgement need change, without specifically identifying those areas? How do I point out why I am the candidate who can make those changes without indicating who has already been in a position to make those changes? I could be like one candidate who stood in front of a group recently and proudly stated he plans on continuing the same policies and procedures that Sheriff Holland has put in place. I contend this statement is also confirmation that a vote for them is a vote for the same old things (aka good old boy system).
Unlike what has already happened to me, I haven’t personally attacked the Sheriff or any of his leadership team. (In the other candidates defense, it wasn’t them who made disparaging remarks to me.) I merely point out they need improvement and how it can done better with the right Sheriff at the helm. That is what detailed plans do based on proven experience. I have put forth a number of very detailed plans based on my decades of leadership and experience. Granted, some of these proposals need the cooperation of other leaders within our county but I and my leadership team can and will enact the others if I am elected. Invariably that team will also include some of my opponents.

Here is my positive vision. I see the potential for the men and women of the MCSO to grow, both professionally and personally. I see the MCSO being ran in a much more efficient manor which will benefit the citizens of Macon county. I see the increased transparency which will build trust in the MSCO. I see leadership having the authority to do their jobs and making the MCSO a stronger unit. I see streamlining the organization to ensure a more efficient office to save the taxpayers money. I envision the development of an assessment process to choose the best and brightest leaders for those leadership positions as opposed to the good old boy system of promotion currently in place. I see the ability to recruit and retain the best recruits available. I have laid out plans for every one of those things. You as a citizen of Macon county should take a look at “their” proposals on those same things. If you can find them. I will continue to put forth proposals and more importantly solutions. I have more experience and leadership than any of my opponents.

What we are now seeing is the pressure that detailed proposals put on the other candidates. What we are seeing is confirmation that a vote for one of the other candidates is a vote to continue the same policies and procedures that are in place now. We are told that the candidates can’t speak about their plans because they are currently working for the MCSO. I believe that is inaccurate. They can’t speak to their plans because there are none. If the citizens want the same old thing, then they should certainly vote for that. The citizens I meet on a daily basis frequently tell me it is time for a change. How is keeping the same thing doing anything different?
In closing, I could do what the Sheriff has proposed and just talk about my qualifications (which I have done several times). Then what do we talk about after that? How does that address the concerns that the citizens of Macon County have. I have not had one person tell me they don’t want to hear proposals. I have not had one person tell me that they just want a “nice guy.” They want someone who will stand up to those who seem to get away with anything they want and someone who is not part of the good old boy system. I am not in ANYBODY’S good old boy system. That is what happens when you are leadership tested and experience proven!

Thank you Sheriff Holland for the Inspiration. I will certainly refer back to your points over the next few months.

This week I am going to address building leaders within the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. My intention will be to train supervisors to be better leaders. As a Chief Petty Officer, I was a deck plate leader. That means that I was the front line between the troops and the Officers. I ensured they were well taken care of. I believe that if a person is happy and secure in their employment, they will give 110% to the organization. When your team is unsure of where they stand with the administration or what is expected of them, they begin to find other places to work. The Macon County Sheriff’s Department is currently down several positions. One big reason is the lack of reasonable pay and benefits. Others leave because of the administration they work for. While I plan to work on the first reason, I completely control the second.

I will work very hard at knowing those who work in the organization and their needs. One of those needs will be to seek the leadership training that best suits them for their NEXT position. I will seek the cooperation of outside trainers to host necessary training for my frontline supervisors. One of my opponents has indicated that he will continue the strong relationship with our local college. I worked at that college for the past two plus years and was tasked with coordinating training. During that entire time I rarely saw a deputy from the Macon County Sheriff’s Department participate in what was offered. My question is why? Why would they not participate in training that is in their own backyard. I will change that. I will work with them to attract the training we need. Not only for our supervisors, but for the Deputies.

Next I want to address the promotional process. Currently it appears there is no assessment process to determine who is best suited for promotion. This is very detrimental to the members of the department. It also gives the appearance of a strong “good old boy” system where if you are not in with the boss, you don’t get promoted. I will develop an assessment process consisting of testing and interviewing to determine who is best suited to lead. The process will take into account their work ethic and performance. There will be standards that lead to promotion. There will be very little cost, if any involved as it could be developed in house. There is no perfect way to promote. This just appears to be the fairest and most transparent.

And finally, I will lead by example. I will not expect anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t do. It is that proven experience based on that tested leadership that those who work for you respect. I will always be honest in my dealings with those who work for me and they will always know where they stand. That is the only way you can have any credibility with those who work for you.


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