GOP Sheriff Candidates: Mitchell Whitener

Published 9:13 am Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Whitener: When I took the oath of office, I swore to maintain the constitution of the United States to protect and serve our citizens fairly and honestly. I want to continue to protect and serve all our citizens of Davie County and the sheriff’s office with the best level of law enforcement services. We all deserve to live in a community free of crimes and drugs to raise a family and feel secure in our homes. With my 30 years of law enforcement experience, I want to work for the people of Davie County. I want to ensure that the Davie County Sheriff’s Office is committed to preserving the peace and doing everything possible to improve the quality of life for all citizens. The combination of training and experience ensures that I am qualified to perform all the duties required of the sheriff’s office.

What is the number 1 need within the Davie County Sheriff’s Department, and how do you plan to meet that need?

Whitener: Currently, the Davie County Sheriff’s Office employs great deputies, detention officers, and non-sworn personnel. I believe these employees need the best and most up to date training in the fields of leadership development, situation-appropriate driver’s training and active shooter preparedness and response. As sheriff, I will initiate a training protocol to secure instructors, facilities, and equipment to immediately implement the beginning stages of this much-needed training. This training can be done both locally and at other allied agencies facilities. I will provide the necessary training and education to the men and women of the department as it relates to crimes from new trends both in crime fighting advancements and in technology. Law enforcement training must change to reflect the current threats that our community faces. We will train to prevent crime as well as enhance our emergency preparedness and response to the dangers that may occur in our county. I will develop a training partnership with allied emergency response agencies; this partnership will assure all agencies work as a team and depend on each other as needed. I believe a well-trained agency not only becomes more effective and productive, it also better serves the community it protects.

What do you consider the main duties of a sheriff?

Whitener: The sheriff is the leader not only in the community to protect and serve the citizens but in the office to all the employees. He is there to provide the best law enforcement services, run an efficient and safe jail facility, to oversee the serving of all civil and criminal court processes in a timely manner, to maintain order and security in the courts and to support fairness, truth, and justice within our criminal justice system 24/7, 365 days a year. The sheriff is constantly in the community meeting and talking with the citizens that he serves as well as leaving his door open to his employees who serve him and the community in which he serves. He provides the critical training needed for his employees, always finds ways to boost their morale and empowers them. He is the leader that is always fighting for them. He listens to ideas and understands that there’s one thing that is always constant in the world today and that is “change.” As your sheriff, I believe the best way to lead is from the front as it is essential for the men and women in the department to understand, they will not be asked to do anything that I am not willing to do myself. We must meet the standards of the law but most importantly meet the high standards of our community.

Other Issues

Whitener: As a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, promoted through the ranks, I want to move this county forward by combining my law enforcement background and leadership experience. I have worked as a police officer, state trooper and sergeant with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. I have been a SWAT team member, field training supervisor and officer and a Cooper Fitness Instructor, along with other specialized duties in the law enforcement field. My experience gives me a specific insight and awareness to the types of crimes being committed and how and what it takes to solve those crimes. I am familiar with the good and bad in people and understand the resources that are needed to keep you safe and the criminals out of this county. I understand that community involvement is important to the effectiveness of any agency. I am a firm believer in servant leadership. As sheriff, I will do everything within my power to help the employees of the Davie County Sheriff’s Office. This type of leadership will provide the assistance needed to perform and complete each task more efficiently daily. I have the motivated passion and compassion that is a requirement to do this job professionally.

As your sheriff, I will build an effective organization that shares the highest level of accountability and transparency for the citizens of Davie County. Every employee will be treated fairly, and a positive and productive work environment will be established. Leadership will be responsible for the morale and overall work performance of the Sheriff’s Office. I will have an open-door policy for the Sheriff’s Office and for all citizens of Davie County. I understand the importance of working with our citizens, local law enforcement agencies, communities and other offices in the county to achieve this higher level of service to our public. I believe the deputies should be involved in the community and form working relationships with the citizens. With this daily interaction, they can better understand the needs and problems the community faces.

We must aggressively combat the drug problems in Davie County. I will work with other law enforcement agencies, educators, emergency management and non-profit agencies to help reduce narcotics and other dangerous drugs. My mission will be to disrupt the means by which violators sale, manufacture and transport illicit drugs in and through Davie. I will focus on high traffic areas and address the drug issues at all levels. The department will make it a priority to dismantle drug trafficking and drug abuse in this county.

I will work with school officials to make the safety of our children and our schools a top priority in my administration. As sheriff, I will partner with school staff and other allied agencies to explore new safety measures and prevention techniques to deter and prevent any violent acts against our children. My goal will be to make our classrooms less of a target and our schools a safer place to learn.

As your sheriff, I will ensure that the initial investigation of a crime is handled in an efficient and professional manner. Officers will follow up and monitor each of these crimes until a satisfactory conclusion or an arrest has been made. The Criminal Investigations Division will be highly motivated to aggressively investigate and deter criminal activity. All reports of domestic violence and child abuse will be thoroughly investigated by the department. We will work together with other agencies to always protect the children and victims to ensure their safety. Investigators will look at specific insight and situational awareness to the types of crimes being committed.

I want to establish a trust as well as a relationship with all the citizens of Davie County. This will not only create a partnership but will allow them to be part of the solution. I want to lead the Davie County Sheriff’s Office into the future and earn your trust through a professional well led law enforcement agency. As your sheriff, I want to keep what is most important to you safe. I will protect you, your family and your property!