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Hero Down: Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin Dies From Surgical Complications During Cancer Battle

Raeford, NC – Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin died on Oct. 22 due to surgical complications during a battle against cancer.

“It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin who died recently during a surgical procedure,” Stephanie Hopkins, a candidate for Wake County sheriff, told WNCN. “His family (also) stated that the sheriff had been battling cancer for some time.”

Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead said he and Sheriff Peterkin, 59, were longtime friends.

“It is with a heavy heart I remember my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Hubert A. Peterkin. We were very close personally and professionally as Sheriffs representing our respective counties of Hoke and Durham,” Sheriff Birkhead said, according to WNCN. “Sheriff Peterkin was one of the longest serving Sheriffs in North Carolina – for close to 20 years he represented his constituents in Hoke County with class and dignity.”

He said Sheriff Peterkin was an even-keeled mentor who believed in his duty to protect all citizens, WNCN reported.

“I recall an early conversation in 2019 when Sheriff Peterkin told me, ‘We’re not Republican sheriffs. We’re not Democratic sheriffs. We are sheriffs. We represent all people,’” Sheriff Birkhead recalled.

Sheriff Peterkin had been at the helm of the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) since 2002, WNCN reported.

He also spent time serving the Fayetteville Police Department (FPD) during his more than 30-year law enforcement career.

“I’m deeply sorry and saddened to learn about the passing of Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement to WNCN. “He worked diligently to protect the people of his county in addition to making a significant difference for good in public safety throughout our state as President of the N.C. Sheriff’s Association.”

“We will miss him and his leadership and we grieve for his family,” Cooper added.

Sheriff Peterkin earned his bachelor’s degree from Liberty University, WRAL reported.

He also held a masters degree in public administration and a doctorate in management from the University of Phoenix.

Sheriff Peterkin was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is given in recognition of people who have made significant contributions to their community and the State of North Carolina through exceptional accomplishments and exemplary service, WRAL reported.

He also was elected as president of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association in 2015.

Sheriff Peterkin leaves behind his wife, Della, and his children, Antisha, LaSwanda, and Antonio, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his siblings and his aunts.

Sheriff Peterkin will be laid to rest on Oct. 29.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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