McVicker’s first year shows solid leadership

Tuesday, Dec. 1, marks one year of leadership for Sheriff Jim McVicker in Bladen County. As an interested member of the community, I inquired regarding the accomplishments of the Sheriff’s Office during the last 12 months; and although I thought I was following developments closely, I was surprised.

The list is too long to detail in this limited space so I will highlight what I feel are the major items:

— Saved an $80,000 grant from being rescinded because of poor documentation by the previous administration (completed in his first month)

— Secured the assistance of a grant writer to save taxpayers the cost of funding certain programs

— Obtained a grant to provide T-shirts to middle school students for GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training)

— Restructured the office to put more deputies on the street and reassigned two deputies to the Civil division to address the backlog of civil papers

— Increased training without increasing cost by utilizing better time management

— Shut down a major illegal gambling establishment

— Increased drug arrests throughout the county

— Prevented the state shutdown of the sheriff’s helicopter unit and received an additional helicopter at no cost after demonstrating the value to regional law enforcement

— Received a $25,000 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission to place cameras in all patrol cars

— Implemented new security procedures for the courthouse for the security of workers and citizens

— Through cooperation with the school administration initiated a program increasing officer visits and interaction with school personnel and students

— Established a health and wellness program for deputies to exercise before or after their shift at no cost to the county.

This list is not all inclusive, but it reveals to the most casual observer that Bladen County’s new sheriff is an innovative, hard-working, dedicated leader who works extremely hard for the citizens of Bladen County. We are blessed to have him.

May God bless him and the entire department.

Charles Massey

Bay Tree Lakes