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Today I want to talk about transparency in our operations. I will address the potential for conflicts of interest, real or imagined.
As your Sheriff everything my Deputies and I do, will or could come under the scrutiny of the media and the citizens of our county. Once sworn in I will ask for the contracts we have with any civilian contractors. I will review them with my staff to ensure we are getting what it is the contract says we should be getting. Those contracts that do not live up to the written agreements will be discussed with the company they represent. I will not accept any out of agency business that is not living up to it’s requirements. I will hold all of the businesses accountable for the proper execution of the contract.
I will review any non profits we do business with. Any of my deputies who currently hold a position on their board of directors will be asked to remove themselves from that position. Holding a position on the board of directors could possibly reflect a conflict of interest when ensuring the contracts are fulfilled properly. This will only apply to those nonprofits with which we actually have a contract and are provided a service from that nonprofit. If the nonprofit receives no compensation from the county in reference to functions performed within the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, this rule will not apply.
As your Sheriff, I will go to great lengths to ensure we have a transparent organization. I will always err on the side of caution to ensure we are above reproach.


This is the fourth in the series of candidates comparison. I am highlighting the issues and which of your candidates have commented 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: Transparency/Responsiveness
Candidate: Browning
Date/General idea of posting
10/21/21: “Vow to fight and go in as a clean Sheriff to serve the citizens of Macon County and be a true transparent Sheriff.”
Election Issue: Transparency/Responsiveness
Candidate: Bryson
Date/General idea of posting
01/30/22: Admitted MCSO is reporting more arrests for election. They continue to do them all the time, just reporting more.
Wants to add a Community Engagement Officer to add transparency.
Responsible for public information.
Add SROs for Community Liaison.
10/24/21: Add Community Engagement Officer.
10/03/21: Will have an open door policy for citizens to contact him.
07/27/21: He is not a social media guy. Never have been. Please email him.
07/16/21: Proud to be a part of an agency that has vowed to always be transparent with the general public.
Will ensure that transparency continues.
Talked about MCSO App currently in use.
Election Issue: Transparency/Responsiveness
Candidate: Cook
Date/General idea of posting
02/01/22: Vows to respond to concerns and complaints.
Vows to investigate reported crimes.
Will be visible in community throughout term.
Will keep citizens informed.
Will wait for evidence before making public statements (on police involved incidents).
01/31/22: Put out contract with Macon County
01/18/22: Vows to make citizens a priority.
Will ensure crimes are investigated.
Will work to earn your trust every day.
12/30/21: If citizen calls, I will respond (or a staff member)
I have answered all questions put out so far m
If you disagree with me, challenge me and hold me accountable.
I have a contract with each of you. (No other candidate has one)
12/15/21: All crimes will be investigated.
I will ensure patrol coverage. No plan
12/07/21: I will rebuild trust and transparency
We will respond to all reports of crimes.
11/22/21: I will be responsive and answer all questions.
11/08/21: I pledge to respond to all complaints.
I will keep victims informed of their case and status.
11/08/21: Spoke of Drone proposal again.
10/21/21: Responsiveness to the Hispanic community.
Want to institute a Hispanic Liaison Officer
09/27/21: Transparency:
Will respond to concerns and questions.
Drug tip hot line installed in addition to crime stoppers.
Investigations status updates.
SHADCO (Sheriff’s Advisory Committees) based on voting precincts.
Make Expectations clear to employees.
Ensure Deputies know what is expected to promote.
Treated with respect (Deputies by staff).
07/13/21: My contract with Macon County.
Root out corruption.
Treat all the same.
Support rank and file deputies.
Good steward of tax money.
08/17/21: Transparency
Will take page from ex-Franklin Chief of Police Adams.
Will walk areas of county in uniform and speak to people.
08/16/21: Addressing drug issue.
Supervisor will be responsible for complaint follow up.
Dictate who is responsible for followup.
Victims informed of status of case.
Ensure victims know their rights.
08/09/21: Sheriff Holland statement on teamwork etc. (my not being on team)
Bryson admitted he will continue Sheriff Holland policies.
There is a need for improvement.
Opponents have had a decade to influence changes.
Positive vision for Macon County.
Leaders authorized and responsible for their job.
Efficient use of tax money.
Assessment process to determine best for promotion.
Recruit from college academies.
Not part of “good old boy” system.
07/13/21: My contract for Macon County
06/14/21: Transparency.
I will entertain all media inquiries.
I will respond.
We will have body cameras and car cameras.
Review of policies and procedures.
Election Issue: Transparency/Responsiveness
Candidate: Jones
Date/General idea of posting
No comments on this subject.
Election Issue: Transparency/Responsiveness
Candidate: Holbrooks
Date/General idea of posting
No comments on this subject.


Thursday evening I had the privilege of speaking to a group of Macon County citizens. It was very successful in that they asked a myriad of questions from patrol coverage to drugs to Hispanic community concerns. It is obvious there are many issues from these citizens that need to be addressed. The questions they asked are the same questions I have addressed many times since I announced my candidacy in April 2021.
I want each and every citizen in this county to know that I will ensure that your Sheriff's Office is the most transparent Sheriff's Office you can remember. If you call your Sheriff's Office with a concern or a question, if I don't answer you personally, one of my staff will. One thing I learned as a manager and leader in the Navy is to follow up. I will ensure you have been contacted. I cannot promise you will always agree with the response, but please understand that I will always follow the law. I will be happy to talk with you and hopefully will be able to explain my position.
Throughout this campaign I have endeavored to answer each and every question that you pose. It helps me to understand what concerns there are in Macon County. When I hear the same concern over and over, it tells me that should be a higher priority than some of the others.
Please feel free to contact me at any time. my number is 828-371-4475.


As a Sheriff, I vow to be responsive to your concerns. When you call in a complaint, it will be addressed. If you are a victim of a crime, it will be investigated. When you have a question, it will be answered. I will be visible in the community throughout my term, not just the year before elections. You will be informed of the things you need to know as soon as I am able to release information. I will wait for the evidence before making public statements as to whether or not something is proper or a danger to the community. This is my promise to you. Thank you for your support.
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This week I want to address transparency and responsiveness.  I have spoken with hundreds of citizens in the past couple of weeks.  I introduce myself and briefly tell them who I am and what my qualifications are.  The conversation invariably leads to them identifying a major issue that in their opinion they would like to see fixed.  

Citizens have spoken about:

-  Thefts and burglaries

-  Drug houses and the homeless

-  Addicts and the perception of corruption.  

-  They are fed up with the good old boy system.  

These are THEIR perceptions.  These are the things that THEY are concerned about.  These are what they tell me they want someone to work on.

So, here is my pledge:  If there is a complaint lodged, it will be investigated.  I will require the supervisors to be responsible for tracking the progress of the complaints from the time the report is filed through the final notification to the complainants.   

If you are the victim of a crime, you will be notified of who your investigator is.  You will be notified when the case is assigned.  You will be notified of the progress at a reasonable interval.  You will be notified when your investigation is completed and the results of that investigation. And more importantly, when you are the victim of a crime, you will have an officer respond to take your report.  There will be very narrow parameters to telephonic reports.  

This is my pledge to you, my employers.  I speak from experience.  I speak from leadership.  You deserve the best response you can get.  I will ensure you get that.  


As a Sheriff, I will make you a priority. I will do that by answering your questions and listening to your concerns. I will make you a priority by ensuring when you are a victim of a crime, it is investigated. I will make you a priority by ensuring you trust your Sheriff’s Office by earning it every single day!


Over the past several months I have talked to hundreds of Macon County citizens. I have listened to your concerns and answered your questions. In the coming weeks I plan to expound on the things I have said I will do once elected.
Here is your homework. When I ask you a question, please take the time to answer, even if in a private message. I also ask that you share my page to all of your friends and family.
The homework is simple. If you want change, we both need to be proactive. I am encouraged as I walk around and meet people. But we have much work to do. Let’s get to it.


The citizens of Macon County deserve a Sheriff’s Office that will respond to them. Our deputies are hard working and want to do the right thing. It is the decisions of leadership that determine how and where the deputies work. I will reorganize the Sheriff’s Office to ensure we have enough officers on patrol to provide coverage in all areas of the county. I will ensure crimes are investigated. That seems like such a no brainer that we shouldn’t even have to bring it up, but according to a survey that was conducted the vast majority of citizens that responded were very concerned their crimes were not being investigated. My opponents have had an opportunity to fix the issues they now tell you they want to fix. Maybe it is time to try something different.


It is time to listen to the citizens of Macon County. They demand changes in our Sheriff’s Office. They want a Sheriff’s Office that is responsive. To be responsive, a Sheriff’s Office must send an investigator out when a citizen is a victim of a crime. To be responsive, the Sheriff or his staff must return calls to citizens. To be responsive is to be transparent. Without transparency we have no trust. I will rebuild that trust and transparency.
We will need to have every one of you to ensure your friends and neighbors know about our message and are registered to vote! We need your help to,get this done. Together we can make the needed changes!


Yesterday, I attended two events. One was a surprise birthday party for my neighbor Terry Land. It was his 80th birthday and many of his family and friends turned out to wish this great citizen of Macon County a very happy birthday. I was blessed to be a part of that celebration. Citizens like Terry and his wife Shirley, are a huge part of why I love this county and it’s people. They care for others as much as we care for them. At times during the gathering, Shirley would bring up a few of her church friends to meet me. Each one was interested in what I had to say in reference to my plans for the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. Sadly, I had to leave a bit early to make it to my next event.
I had been invited to attend the Holiday Kick Off sponsored by County Commissioner Candidate Danny Antoine. If you are looking for a County Commissioner who will work tirelessly for the citizens of this county, look no farther than him. While at this event, I was able to speak with a number of citizens and relay my vision for the future of the Sheriff’s Office. I was very happy to meet the people I met today and just discuss their concerns.
I learned the primary concerns of a number of people. Of course, at the top of the list were drugs. Followed by questions on patrol coverage and responsiveness. I was able to relate my plans that are designed to improve each of these areas. I was happy to be able to discuss their concerns about the direction of the Sheriff’s Office. I understood their concerns and assured them I had heard nearly all of them before.
I assured them that their complaints of crime would be answered regardless of where they lived in the county. When the subject of efficiency came up, I was proud to talk about how when elected, I will be making a salary that is about $40,000.00 less than the current Sheriff!
I was truly blessed to meet a young couple who explained that they follow me and are impressed with my desire to answer questions at any time, any where. (Which I am growing pretty fond of!) Nearly every one of the great citizens I spoke to at either event indicated a desire to change from the status quo of the past 20 years.
Here is the bottom line, when elected, I will be the Sheriff for each citizen of Macon County. I will answer your questions and ensure every one of your constitutional rights are protected. You will have a Sheriff that has been leadership tested and experience proven!


Question for all current and future Sheriff candidates.
I have seen a lot of comments about calls from the citizens to the Sheriff’s department not being investigated.
So my question is: How would you combat the perception that all calls aren't being investigated?

The very simple answer is to respond to the call and investigate the crime.

Now that I have gave the answer, let give you the how.
As I have said in past postings, I will hold deputies responsible for doing their jobs. I will establish a system that tracks complaints and who is responsible for investigating them. The supervisor will conduct periodic inspections of the detective’s cases to ensure they are following up on them.
Next, there will be a system in place where the victim notifications are made and tracked to ensure they know the status of their case. They will be notified when the detective is assigned the case and upon the completion of the case.
Finally, when citizens call in to my office, they will have a response. Either by myself or my staff. I will be the most transparent and responsive Sheriff you have had. You can and should hold me responsible for doing my job.


This question is being asked to all of the candidates for Sheriff.
I am a board member of the Centro Comunitario de Macon County. One of our missions is to work with the Hispanic community in the county by educating, guiding and helping them have a worthy life. We also want them to become part of the community in the county as a whole.
In the past, we have worked with Sheriff Holland in various endeavors but mainly to help the community understand they can trust and count with law enforcement specially in emergency situations.
Robbie has met with the Hispanic community in meetings that our Center has hosted with him being a guest speaker. This meetings have created a sense of trust by our community but there is still a lot of work to be done. We need to work together with the population to explain better the laws and processes of the law.
Our question is, if you are elected as our new Sheriff will you be willing to meet with us and the community to help strengthened the bond that was already created by our current sheriff?
Thank you in advance for your response.
Centro Comunitario de Macon County Board Members.


his is a great question. I have been giving this a lot of thought.
The primary thing that will take some long term work will be to actively recruit to attract Hispanic officers. (I have already had this conversation with one potential Hispanic officer.)
The second thing I plan to implement, once I have at least ONE Hispanic officer is to have them designated as a community outreach officer. This will be in addition to their normal duties as a patrol officer. Ideally they will be utilized to interface with the Hispanic community during any investigations that apply to that community. This will take some time to accomplish, but it can be done. I would love to have one for each shift but I am not sure that is possible.
Now, to answer your question. Yes! But I now have a question. Why wait? I will be happy to meet with the leaders of your community at any time we can make it happen.
I strongly believe that this is a necessary service that we need to provide. I have worked where we had a unit dedicated to interfacing with the Hispanic community so I know how valuable it can be.
Feel free to call me at (828) 371-4475.


Question for all current and future Sheriff candidates.
I understand that the candidates are promoting themselves at various events and are actively involved with charity organizations at this point in the election.
My question is: How many of the candidates will continue this after the election?


Ever since I moved to this county I have participated in various charity events. Most through my church.
I have also assisted at least one other church and a fraternal organization. I typically do not post information on those things as the things I do, I do because God leads me to do them. That being said, I will continue to participate in the things I have always done to benefit the citizens of my county, regardless if I get elected or not.

Additionally, I will also continue to endorse and support any and all charitable events currently being supported by the MCSO. If there are new events that our participation will result in enhancing the outcomes, then we will certainly do that whenever possible.


Just wanted to reach out and let everyone know. I have been asked about speaking to citizens over the lunch period. I want to let everyone know, I will absolutely meet you, the citizens wherever you are willing to meet. I have met two citizens at their homes as well as over lunch. I will continue to be accessible whenever the need arises. Additionally, if you have a question about something, feel free to privately text me if you are worried about the drama that is social media! A lot of you do that. Again, thank you for your support!


For sheriff candidates: We have all seen the videos of the violent assault on the Capitol police on January 6th. Do you agree with Congressman Cawthorn that the people who have been charged are political prisoners?


This is an easy one. No I do not think they are all political prisoners. These are pretty much all arrested as a result of a warrant issued by a Judge. Without seeing the documents used to secure the warrant, I have to assume that they were made upon findings of probable cause. If in the end the majority of arrests are dismissed, then we can assume there were other reasons for rounding them up. It will then be up to them to decide whether to take civil actions for false arrest.


This week I want to discuss some of the most important topics various citizens ask me about as I travel around this county.

The first concern, is the drug situation. Invariably, the citizens know someone who is addicted to drugs or a location where drugs are being sold. I (I know, there’s that word again) am the only candidate in this race who has actually conducted all manners of drug investigations. I have been faced with very complex situations which were always successfully resolved. I have fortunately had experiences, due to where I served, that few law enforcement personnel ever have had the opportunity to participate in. I will bring these unique experiences along with new ideas to Macon county if elected. I will unequivocally state, if you are a drug dealer, we will be coming for you, as well as, the assets you utilize in your illegal activities. Assets seized are regulated under federal law and are restricted to specific areas where we can spend the proceeds. One area I would like to see it spent is on rehabilitation services. I do not expect this to be a huge amount so I will need to be surgical in my approach. Having been declared an expert in the area of drug seizures by the courts I can assure you I have the necessary experience to ensure we leave no stone unturned.

The second concern, is a perception of a lack of responsiveness and not being informed of the results of investigations in which they, or their friends and family are the victims. A program will be established that will dictate which cases the officers will be responsible for investigating as well as which cases a detective must follow up and investigate. This will better allocate everyone’s time to areas where they are better suited to perform. Within this program, there will be required contacts with the victim to provide an update to their case. It will also require officers to inform the victim if their case is being closed, and why. These contacts will be documented and reviewed by their supervisors. My goal is to ensure you as the victim, that you are aware of your rights and the status of your case. In my experience, this type of program has enabled me to see the benefits of keeping our customers (you) happy and informed. I learned my customer service skills while a personnel officer in the Navy, a customer service supervisor with the grocery chain Publix, and a law enforcement officer for twenty two years.
Finally, to ensure the citizens of Macon county know I am their Sheriff, I will take a page from now ex-Franklin Police Chief David Adams. I will visit the various areas of Macon County to obtain feedback from the citizens I serve. You will see me in the Sheriff’s uniform walking around our county or stopping in businesses to chat. I want to be approachable. It is the citizens of Macon county who will elect me and I promise to never forget that. This is what you get with a candidate who is leadership tested and experience proven.


A number of my posts have been in reference to transparency. I feel it is important that the citizens of Macon County know what the Department is doing, especially when it comes to interactions with citizens. Equally important is that the citizens have confidence in the department to handle issues when they arise and report the results to those they work for. There are rules regarding personnel matters and they must be followed. However, waiting until it is reported in the news to address it is not in the best interest of the citizens. Every officer who is accused of something is absolutely entitled to an investigation to prove or disprove the allegations. It is necessary to let the public know the details of the issue. Without reporting the results of an investigation within a reasonable amount of time, it has the appearance of impropriety even if the officer is exonerated. The delay in an investigation is detrimental to the officer involved, the department as a whole and the citizens of Macon County. If I am elected Sheriff of Macon County, I pledge to report back the results of an investigation as soon as I am legally able.


This week I will address the issue of transparency. I have spoken to a number of citizens and this is one of several issues that are mentioned. They are concerned they do not get a response from the Sheriff's Office when they make inquiries. There have been those who run local social media blogs/news outlets that have made inquiries to no avail. I will change that. While I don't play gotcha type games, I will entertain any and all questions to the best of my ability. You will get a response from either myself or from someone within the organization that is responsible for that function. When an elected official fails to respond, it appears they are hiding something. Even if that is not the case, there is the image of impropriety. I do not want that image in my administration. I believe the citizens of Macon County deserve to know what is going on. The more they know, good or bad, the more they will be willing to listen when the important things like funding arise.

One thing I will work hard to do is ensure that every Deputy is outfitted with body worn cameras as well as in-car cameras. There are some already in use and have been for nearly a year. However, as an organization, it is absolutely necessary to have the proper policies and procedures in place to govern how that equipment is utilized and when video footage can be released. It is my understanding the department has not had the necessary formal polices in place which has put them in a position of liability. Even if the policies are "in process" the use of equipment without proper policies being in place is just as bad as not having them. As an administrator, the Sheriff is negligent and can be held personally responsible if his deputies are operating without directions. This is but one area that I had mentioned early on. It is an indication that now is the time for a change.

In the first month of my administration I will institute a review of all policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date. Where there are areas, such as the lack of policies concerning body worn cameras; I will get it corrected immediately. There are hundreds of departments within the state of North Carolina alone who are currently utilizing the cameras. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. It has already been invented. We just have to modify to meet our particular needs. This refers to the need for efficiency, transparency and professionalism. It is also an indication of how little things change when an administration doesn't. It is time for a change.

It is time for new ideas. It is time for a new Sheriff; one who has been leadership tested and experience proven. It is time to elect Bob Cook as Sheriff of Macon County.


I have had a number of questions posed to see what my stance is so I thought I would start a new posting every Monday to address an issue that was asked. This way, you will know how I stand. Please feel free to either publicly or privately ask anything you want and I will make every endeavor to answer it thoroughly. I will however try to keep them brief so that I don’t bore you to tears!!

Here is the first one. Why am I running against my friend Robbie Holland? This should also address the generic question of my desire to run. My answer:

This has nothing to do with my friendship with Sheriff Holland. I still value him as a friend and for how he treated me after the sudden death of my wife will always keep him in high regard with me. However, this is about the citizens of Macon County and the Deputies and employees of the Sheriff’s Department. Over the past couple of years I have heard a steady increase of dissatisfaction with the Sheriff’s Office and their direction and progress. I fear that if I were to sit on the sidelines out of loyalty to Sheriff Holland or any of his staff, that dissatisfaction may manifest itself into a less than qualified individual being elected to that position. Ever since coming out and announcing my intent to run to the office of the Sheriff, virtually every citizen I talk to has stated the exact same words. Those are “It's about time for a change.” There are a number of people who have indicated privately they are interested in running. However, every one of those individuals have gained their experience within the very system that people are dissatisfied with. Realistically, what is expected to change if they were elected? I will bring new ideas in policies and procedures while still maintaining the customer service the citizens of Macon County deserve. It isn't about money, I am good with that. It isn't about fame, I have had that. What I want is to be your Sheriff because I believe I can make it better for the department and the citizens of Macon County.



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