Sheriff’s Candidate JD Hartman: Continue improving services to community

Published 7:52 am Monday, May 2, 2022

The Candidate

Name

JD Hartman

Age

56

Address

Pudding Ridge Road, Mocksville

Family

Wife, Robin; son; daughter and son-in-law

Education

West Forsyth High School, 1983 graduate; attended FTCC for a brief period. Worked for several years in numerous fields. Basic Law Enforcement Training in 1991, served in law enforcement since that time. Countless hours of training related to law enforcement, 31 years on-the-job, 24 in Davie

Occupation

Sheriff of Davie County since January of 2017; for 10 years prior was chief deputy of the Davie Sheriff’s Office. Prior to that, performed every position in the sheriff’s office, other than animal control

In The Community

• Green Meadows Baptist Church

• Board of Directors for Farmington Community Events Center for eight years; a term as vice president and four terms as president; still a volunteer

• Board of Davie Domestic Violence for many years.

• Founding member of the Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center, served on the board of directors as treasurer, vice president, and president. Past chair of facilities committee during new build

• Davie County Child Fatality Team, multi-disciplinary group that reviews child-related cases and deaths

• NC 911 Board

• Farmington Ruritans

• Mocksville Rotary

• Board for the Advocacy Center of Davie County

• N.C. Sheriff’s Association Legislative and Training Committees; 3 years on School Safety Committee

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Hartman: Having lived and worked in Davie County for many years while serving in Law Enforcement, I would like to continue serving our County and the citizens. I have watched our County grow and change, and the Sheriff’s Office along with it; having been deeply involved in shaping many of those changes at the Sheriff’s Office, I want to continue to be part of preparing the Sheriff’s Office to serve our citizens and County over the next thirty years. It has been my honor and privilege over the past 5 ½  years to serve as Sheriff alongside the outstanding group of dedicated men and women who comprise the Davie County Sheriff’s Office team. My staff truly exemplify service above self every day, and know they have my full support. I am readily available to each of them, since serving as Chief Deputy I have always maintained an open-door policy and place tremendous value on the earned respect of my Team.

What personal attributes make for a successful Sheriff?

Hartman: There are many attributes that make a successful Sheriff, not the least of which is an individual’s longstanding demonstrated character and demeanor. Who one is as a person surely provides the foundation of who one will be as a Sheriff. Listening is far more important than speaking, and patience is a vital necessity. Respect for others, and the ability to respect opposing opinions of others, is pivotal as well. There should be an ongoing yearn for knowledge and betterment, with a constant desire to improve oneself and provided service. A Sheriff needs to be compassionate, strong yet humble, ethical, and must be unequivocally honest. Honest in their beliefs, honest with the public, honest with the men and women who work for them, and honest with themselves. The Sheriff makes critical decisions every day that directly impacts both the public and staff; these decisions can be very challenging, and as Sheriff, personal honesty and integrity is required within yourself, an unwavering commitment to do the right thing regardless of any imminent undesired outcome or personal cost. Just as the duties of a Sheriff are a highly complex list, likewise, are the essential personal attributes that comprise a successful Sheriff; topping that list are honesty and humility.

What are the most worrisome crimes in Davie County, and what would you do to combat them?   

Hartman: The opioid crisis continues to be one of our County’s, and our country’s, main drug problems. Although there are, and always have been, other drug problems, the opioid issue has overwhelmed most of the country. Here in Davie County, we have seen a large increase in people using these drugs over the past few years, along with a correlating large increase in overdose cases; this is a national problem, and requires a national approach for solving such. I have met with legislators to discuss interventions that can be done on the state level, and through the NC Sheriff’s Association Legislative Committee have made recommendations for the Opioid Control and Community Protection Act. These recommendations made multiple changes to state law that assist Local Law Enforcement to combat this problem. Some of these changes are adding Fentanyl to the trafficking statutes, providing Law Enforcement access to information about prescription opioids dispensed in our area, funding for training, drug disposal programs, as well as treatment and recovery programs.

Here in Davie County our approach is twofold; first, an aggressive enforcement of drug laws against those selling and distributing all drugs, and programs that are designed to assist the addicted to begin living drug-free. We have developed multiple partnerships that allow us to vastly expand our investigations and track drug networks to the top of the chain, then cut off the head. During my tenure as Sheriff the office has seized, or been involved in seizing, over 20,000 pounds of illegal drugs, made the single largest drug seizure ever recorded in Davie County, and obtained certification for a Deputy as a Drug Recognition Expert, who is one of only a handful across the state. We also have an Officer who has obtained certification as a drug diversion investigator to work on prescription medication cases; this officer is one of less than 100 diversion investigators in North Carolina.

The second part of combatting this crisis is assisting and supporting those who are addicted. These drugs are extremely addictive and affect a much larger group of people who are not normally street-drug users; this has occurred through utilization of stronger, and more frequently prescribed, opioid prescription medications. The Sheriff’s Office is working with local partners to develop support resources that will assist people to gain access to treatment programs. We have enhanced our use of pre-trial programs for those that are arrested and need assistance. Deputies carry information that can be distributed to people who want help, and we have developed partnerships with programs that individuals are referred to when released from jail. The Sheriff’s Office has also appointed a Program Director at the jail and has hired a reentry/substance abuse case manager. Ideally, providing this support will increase the chances for these individuals to continue receiving help after they are released, and thereby reduce the recidivism rates.   

Other Issues

Hartman: Davie County, reflecting the rest of our state and country, has seen an increase in violent crimes. While we still have a much better crime rate than some areas contingent to us, we are not immune from this national increase in violent crime.  The County continues to grow, and with this growth comes increased call volumes and pressures on County services. We constantly review call types, along with their locations, in efforts to expediently identify and address most-needed areas. We strive daily to use every resource available to reduce crime and impact communities for the better.

I am the first Sheriff in Davie County to ever successfully use nuisance abatement to target high call locations that are impacting the neighborhood due to drug use, violence, traffic in and out, and other impacts to our County. This is a long process that requires partnerships with state agencies and the County to remove the problems, and place clear court ordered rules on the property. We completed three of these abatements, and were working on more, when forced to discontinue our efforts due to implemented COVID restrictions. The courts reduced the types of cases they were taking, dismissed many other cases, and generally slowed down all enforcement actions. The Federal and State Governments issued rules that stopped evictions and some civil actions, which effectively ended use of this tool; I am optimistic to soon restart these abatement investigations, as things seem to be slowly returning to pre-COVID activities.

The Davie County Sheriff’s Office is the best trained, most professional, and capable office that we have ever had in Davie County. We continually search for ways to provide enhanced services to our County, and to do so in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. We have increased the number of Deputies assigned to Narcotics Division, and they have specialized training in narcotics investigations, undercover investigations, and other relative subject matter trainings. We have developed training tracts for deputies, such as narcotics investigations or property crimes investigations, to provide them the required tools to be successful, make good cases, and serve the public at the highest levels.

We have also worked to be as open, and transparent, as possible with the public.  We have developed resources that grant instant access, per the internet, to see where we are taking reports, types of reports, warrants issued and served, arrests directly related to Davie County cases, detention information, sex offenders and other information. Gun Permits can be applied for online, without having to come to the office. There are multiple ways for citizens to leave tips, and service requests such as extra patrol can be requested at https://davie-so-nc.zuercherportal.com/#/

Many things have changed through my years in Davie County serving as a law enforcement officer, but my diligent commitment to serving remains the same.  Thank you for your support, I would appreciate your vote so that I can continue striving to provide the best Sheriff’s Office in the State of North Carolina to the citizens of Davie County.