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To the editor: What is it like to be in law enforcement in Brunswick County? I guess no one will ever know until they are in it.
These professionals have to be proficient in many areas, as well as working 12 hour-plus shifts. A handful of deputies patrol more than 800 square miles.
Twenty residents, including myself, just got a taste in our 10-week Citizens Law Enforcement course.
To say it was eye-opening would only partially describe our experience. We toured the jail and saw all it takes to secure inmates and protect deputies. There was a K-9 demonstration in which a deputy was attacked as he posed as a criminal trying to get away.
We were shown demonstrations on narcotics and gang activity and how law enforcement pursues these crimes. We learned the SWAT team is sometimes used serving dangerous warrants, and has won the North Carolina state competition two times in a row and placed 10th internationally. Did you grasp that? They were 10th in the world.
One of the most shocking classes was when a deputy got online and posed as a 12-year-old in a chat room.
It only took a few seconds for a 33-year-old male from out of town to respond. First, there was small talk, and then there was dirty talk. Then came the exposing of himself on a Web cam. I report this for the sake of any parent that may not know of the danger children face from these predators today on the Internet.
We were all assigned temporary titles of detective and crime scene investigators to examine a sample crime and compile evidence. Then we had a mock trial. We found out all it takes to bring someone to trial and present a case in front of a judge or jury.
Then there is preserving evidence and the paperwork. It must be precise and accurate to endure the scrutiny of professional defense counsels.
We then learned how careful you need to be when handling and firing a weapon. We went to the firing line and found out how hard it is to hit a target. All law enforcement must qualify every year. The SWAT team must qualify twice a year.
I was so proud of the sheriff and the entire organization when I saw the respect they paid to our American flag. Every night at sundown, the honor guard comes out and retrieves the flag with a professional, organized ceremony.
If there is anyone who has an interest in what it takes for our sheriff’s department to maintain law and order, I strongly recommend you sign up to take the course.
If you are fortunate enough to be chosen, fasten your seat belt and be prepared for a ride you will never forget and one that will help you understand what these professionals do for us on a daily basis.