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Sad, shocking events in Brunswick County leave community numb

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

My mind is numb from the goings-on of last week.

It was as if the community has been in mourning for Ronald Hewett and the sheriff’s department, and rightly so.

I think we were all stunned and in disbelief from the allegations we read and heard both on television and in print.

I know full well there are folks on both sides of the aisle who support or denounce Ronald Hewett. I’ve known him personally for almost 30 years, and I know that whatever judgment is handed down, he will stand tall in the saddle.

This isn’t to excuse or overlook anything, for the matters at hand are serious and specific, and I fully trust justice will be done.

Regardless, it doesn’t change the matter that we should all keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Through the years I’ve known many in the law enforcement community as close friends.

They work hard—harder than many could believe—putting their lives on the line and standing in the gap for us all.

They know that having a car with a blue light, and wearing a badge and a gun doesn’t absolve them from mortality or make them invulnerable from harm.

They’re good people, and they deserve our support, especially in this trying time.

Probably what has hit me the most this week, however, was the death of my friend David Sandifer, chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. It’s as if I’ve lost someone in my own family.

I do not have the words to sum up how great a man he was, for few pass our way who had the passion and dedication as David. I can’t think he had an enemy.

To him, it didn’t matter who you were or which party you belonged. David worked tirelessly for us all.

Some people have the notion that being in office is all about the perceived prestige or the power of the position.

In reality, to do it right it’s hard work where you have to know the issues, attend endless meetings and do the best possible job as a keeper of the public trust.

You have to be honest, have unquestionable integrity and you must be willing to listen to all sides. In short, you must have the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job, while having the unquenchable passion to stay the course even when others would have long since thrown in the towel.

David was that kind of person. He made you feel like you were the only one in the room and your concerns were his.

David never seemed to be too busy to listen, he was always on top of the issues and he loved Brunswick County. He had charisma and was a leader in the truest sense of the word.

David Sandifer left a mark few can rival and he will be greatly missed by us all.

MARTY COOKE is a local businessman and columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at martincooke777@gmail.com.