James Jones, sheriff’s candidate

James Jones

1. What uniquely qualifies you to serve as sheriff of Robeson County?

Most of all my 30 years of law enforcement background speaks for, that I am honest, fair with hardworking ethics and a desire to stand firm for what I believe in. I will uphold the law and move forward with a new vision and a new direction for a brighter future. I have spent 30 years as a law enforcement officer gaining experience, training and a working knowledge of the criminal justice system. I have had personal contact with thousands of people during my career. I truly care about people. Law enforcement can be proactive and yet still offer compassion for the community.

2. Robeson County routinely ranks at the top of crime, both violent and property, in North Carolina. What would youdo on the front end in order to try to prevent crime from occurring? Please be specific.

We can take the streets back from the violent offenders and drug dealers that cause havoc. I will apply for grants for training, manpower and work with local, state and federal agencies to accomplish this goal.

3. What is your perception of the quality of resources that are available to the Sheriff’s Office, in terms of patrol cars,weaponry, the things that are needed to equip deputies? If there is a problem, what would you do to secure funding to remedy it.

Patrol vehicles, armored vehicle for active shooters/barricaded suspects, helicopter, work towards a full time and better equipped SWAT or Special Response Team. Grants and seized money that the government already owes the Sheriff’s Office.

4. One of the hangovers from Operation Tarnished Badge has been that the county is no longer eligible to share inassets that are claimed through drug arrests, especially off Interstate 95. This money can be used to equip the Sheriff’s Office. What would you do to try to recapture that ability?

As sheriff I will contact the federal government to determine what the issue is and how to obtain the assets that are being withheld and what is required to start up the program again.

5. Would you have a full-time position for a public-relations person, someone who would primarily deal with themedia as well as the public when there are concerns? Why or why not?

No, The Sheriffs office does not need positions that can be handled by a deputy. A deputy with the Sheriff’s Office can be the person giving information which ensures that the information is presented to the public.

6. What do you see as the No.1 failing of the previous sheriff, assuming you believe there is one? What would you do better in that regard?

I am not going to judge the performance of retiring Sheriff Ken Sealy, but I will tell you as the sheriff of Robeson County I will lead it with a new vision and a new direction along with the assistance of a working proactive leadership and the citizens of Robeson County to prevent crime.

7. Robeson County is the most diverse county in the state of North Carolina. If elected, what specifically will youroffice do to ensure that all citizens are treated equally and without bias toward race, color, religious creed, nationalorigin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, military service, or disability?

As the sheriff of Robeson County, everyone is important no matter who they are, what they look like or how much money they have. I am gonna be the sheriff that is honest, fair and not afraid to stand for what is right and what is wrong. My work ethics and background has shown that I am this type of person. Without being fair and honest, how can the duties of sheriff be followed through to the betterment of this county? The citizens of this county deserve a sheriff to stand for them and uphold the duties as sheriff.

8. What are the greatest challenges that you foresee facing the office of the Sheriff of Robeson County in theforeseeable future, and how do you plan to meet those challenges?

The No. 1 challenge fighting crime which is related to drugs and is one of my top priorities. I am motivated by challenges and can effectively meet those challenges head on. As the sheriff of Robeson County, I will meet those challenges with a new vision and a new direction along with the assistance of a working proactive leadership and the citizens of Robeson County to prevent crime.

9. How do you believe your approach to running the office of Sheriff, if you were elected, would differ from that of your opponents?

If and the others have our own unique ideas how the Sheriff’s Office should be operated. I intend to have a working proactive leadership to bring a new focus on community policing by getting involved with Community Watch Groups, community outreach programs and other activities throughout the county. Also work toward implementing ideas and strategies to make the communities safer. Make those ideas and strategies a reality. I will have a line of communication and positive working relationship with all government agencies — local, other county departments within the county, state and federal agencies. Also, by recognizing the importance of internal affairs, interdepartmental accountability.