Rockingham, NC – A North Carolina sheriff sent a letter to the governor asking him to offer his support for law enforcement across the state at a time when policing has become an even more dangerous job.
Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page addressed his concerns about the safety of law enforcement officers in a letter he wrote to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday, WXII reported.
In the Dec. 22 letter, Sheriff Page addressed his “serious concerns about violence being perpetuated” against North Carolina law enforcement officers.
He told the governor in his letter that was shared on the sheriff’s department’s official Facebook page that one of his deputies had been shot on Thanksgiving.
The sheriff also pointed out that two North Carolina police officers had been fatally shot already in December.
Concord Police Department (CPD) Officer Jason Shuping was murdered in the line of duty during a gunfight with an alleged carjacker on Dec. 16.
Mount Holly Police Department (MHPD) Officer Tyler Herndon was murdered in the line of duty on the morning of Dec. 11 in a gun battle with an armed burglary suspect.
In September, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Deputy Ryan Hendrix was fatally shot in the line of duty while responding to a report of a potential vehicle break-in.
Multiple other officers were shot during that same time frame and survived their wounds.
Sheriff Page, in his letter to the governor, also addressed the violence that law enforcement officers were being forced to deal with at the hands of rioters and looters.
“During the past few years I have watched communities around the country experience rioting along with property damage and person being injured, and the loss of life in the process,” the sheriff wrote.
“As we hold ourselves accountable in law enforcement, in society we must also have respect, responsibility and accountability,” he continued.
“This year in North Carolina there have been peaceful protests which are constitutionally protected, and there have been acts of violence in some of our cities directed toward private property, and state property,” Sheriff Page told Cooper. “You can also see on TV, read the news and social media reports of our local peacekeepers experiencing violence being directed at them as they carry out their sworn duties.”
Then he challenged the governor to support his state’s law enforcement agencies and their officers.
“I was taught a long time ago that in order to get respect, you have to give respect,” the sheriff said. “Each law enforcement officer in North Carolina has taken an Oath and has sworn to uphold the law equally and fairly for all. What we need to hear from the Governor is his public support for the many fine law enforcement officers across this great state.”
Sheriff Page went on to tell Cooper that if the “negative rhetoric” being hurled at police continued, he was seriously concerned that there wouldn’t be a pool of applicants for police and sheriff’s departments in the future.
He pointed out in his letter that the governor had been the “top cop” in North Carolina when he was attorney general.
“Today in this correspondence I am asking that you publicly as Governor, acknowledge and condemn any violence directed toward our law enforcement officers, local, state and federal,” the sheriff wrote. “The only way to start turning things around in North Carolina and our nation starts with our leaders.”
The Police Tribune reached out to the governor’s office for comment but had not heard back from Cooper or his representative at publication time.