Dobson police officer killed in off-duty crash on Interstate 77

DobsonSURRY COUNTY, N.C. — A Dobson police officer was killed in an off-duty crash Thursday night on Interstate 77.

Officer Alexander “Dave” Wilmoth, 23, died at the scene of the crash just before 11 p.m. on the southbound side between mile marker 97 and 98. Wilmoth is the nephew of Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson.

Wilmoth was driving his personal Toyota pickup truck when he lost control of the vehicle, investigators said. The truck went into the median, crossed back over both southbound lanes, went over a guardrail, overturned several times and hit a tree, investigators said.

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Senator Apodaca receives Defender of Public Safety Award

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association recognized Senator Tom Apodaca in early January as a 2015 Defender of Public Safety for the work he did during the 2015 legislative session to protect public safety in North Carolina.

Senator Apodaca dedicated time and effort during the session advocating for law enforcement issues that impact the office of sheriff, local communities and the state.

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New sheriff in town: Robert Graves

ASHEBORO — GravesRobert Graves, a retired state trooper, will be the next Randolph County sheriff.

Graves will take the oath of office at the Feb. 1 meeting of the Randolph County commissioners.

“I’m very humbled and excited to go to work,” Graves said Monday night moments after members of the Randolph County Republican Executive Committee tapped him as their nominee to fill the unexpired term of Sheriff Maynard Reid.

“I look forward to the challenge of working with all the fine employees at the sheriff’s office. I’m ready to go to work.”

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As mass killings rise, how can sheriffs keep guns from the mentally unstable?

UnstableWASHINGTON – Before issuing thousands of permits each year for North Carolinians to buy handguns, sheriffs in Mecklenburg, Union and some other counties across the state have gone through an oft-futile exercise.

Relying on statutory language allowing them to ensure each gun owner is of “good moral character,” they have submitted applicants’ names to large health care facilities seeking to learn whether anyone was suicidal or otherwise mentally unfit to own a pistol.

Under the 1968 federal Gun Control Act, the sheriffs’ offices are entitled to know whether an applicant is disqualified from owning a firearm because he or she has been found by a court to be mentally ill, unable to manage his own affairs or a danger to himself and others.

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Deputies: Man caught with video poker machines

videopokerROCKINGHAM — A Richmond County man is accused of running an illegal gambling operation.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 74-year-old Peter Thomas MacMillan of Sanford Street on Jan. 12, following an undercover investigation.

Investigators say they found four video poker machines.

“We got complaints from the community and our officers investigated and made an arrest,” Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr. said Tuesday.

MacMillan was charged with one misdemeanor count each of operating or possessing slot machines and allowing gaming tables on his premises and released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

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Beaufort County Courthouse to start new security measures

WASHINGTON, Beaufort County – Starting in February, new security procedures Beaufortwill take place at the Beaufort County Courthouse.

The changes will include modifying access to building entrances, security screening checkpoints and video surveillance, said officials. All pedestrian traffic will be directed to two exterior entrances. Other building entrances will be closed off.

County officials said Universal Protection Services from Greenville will be assisting with additional security. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office will continue to secure the courtrooms and other specific areas of the courthouse.

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Officer’s empathy gives mom a chance at redemption

— On Dec. 10, a desperate mother crossed paths with a compassionate police officer and learned a lesson about human nature she hopes will inspire others.

Natasha Nicholls, an out-of-work graduate student, is sandwiched between caring for an 8-year-old son and her 76-year-old mother. As Christmas approached, she worried about being able to provide for them.

“I didn’t want to see my son disappointed for Christmas,” she said. “I had to have something for him.”

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JACKSON – Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith said he is not sure how or if his department will be impacted by President Barack Obama’s Executive Action on gun control.

In a nationally broadcast speech Jan. 5, Obama announced that he is requiring all gun sellers to get federal licenses to sell guns and that all purchasers of guns would be required to undergo background checks.

The president’s executive order is designed to close loopholes in existing laws to ensure that criminals and potentially violent people with mental illnesses cannot readily purchase firearms.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan also said he is not sure how or if the president’s executive order would impact his department or other law enforcement agencies.

Vaughan said he would like to investigate the new rules before commenting on them.

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Sheriff’s Office to Hold Citizens Academy

Moore County Sheriff Neil Godfrey announced Wednesday that he will hold the Moore Cofirst session of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy from March 1 through April 12 this year.

The Citizens Academy is a seven-week interactive program designed for citizens throughout Moore County to learn more about the daily duties and functions of the Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.

The academy will begin on Tuesday, March 1 and meet each Tuesday night from 6-9 p.m. at the Rick Rhyne Public Safety Center. A graduation ceremony will be held on April 12.

Participants will be exposed to the many different aspects of the Sheriff’s Office and the criminal justice system. They will hear presentations from the Sheriff, the District Attorney, Patrol Division, Criminal and Narcotics Division representatives, agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and others.

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Iredell County Sheriff handles influx of gun permit applications

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said his Gunsoffice has seen an increase in applications for conceal and purchase permits.

“So much so that we are going to have to use flex scheduling and some overtime money to get our pistol permits and conceal permits streamlined into fashion,” he said.

Campbell said he believes he’s seeing more applications for two reason.

North Carolina House Bill 562 changed several state gun laws. Among other things, it allowed more people to be eligible for conceal carry permits.

“Along with that the national climate, people who worried about if are they going to be able to possess their firearms,” Campbell said.

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