Scales signs on to sheriff’s racePublished 7:15pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013
With a long career in many facets of law enforcement, Washington native Valiant Scales is signing his name to the ever-expanding list of those running for Beaufort County Sheriff in 2014.
So far, two other candidates have officially announced their candidacy — former Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Harry Meredith Jr. and former BCSO deputy Donald Dixon — while another, Capt. Russell Davenport, head of the BCSO Narcotics Unit, has less publicly stated his intentions.
Scales isn’t fazed by the growing number of candidates, he said.
“To me, it’s a good because everybody has a chance,” Scales said. “If you have the knowledge and are qualified, if you have the ability and the passion to do it, (people) can see the effort you put forward.”
Scales graduated from Washington High School (where he still holds a 34-year-old shotput record) and has served in the military and law enforcement since: twelve years in the Army (six of them with Army Rangers), then a year as a detention officer in Hertford County. He attended Beaufort County Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training before serving on the Belhaven Police Department for 2 years then worked in Pitt County Juvenile Justice for 5 years, Kinston Police for 4 ½ years, and wrapping up a stint with the Baltimore County Police Department before returning to North Carolina. In between, he played a year with the U.S. Football League team, the Memphis Showboats, and did private security for rapper Lil’ Bow Wow.
“Now I’m back home and here to make a little difference,” Scales said.
Scales and his wife Leia, who works in juvenile justice in Lenoir County, live in Washington, but he’d like to see the sheriff’s office taking a greater role in the community.
“(The sheriff’s office) should be more community oriented — they need to be known personally by the community,” Scales said.
Scales, who is running as a Democrat, said that of priority to him as a law-enforcement officer is to, first, uphold the law. A second priority is the Beaufort County Detention Center’s overcrowding issue — he’d like to maximize pretrial supervision programs for nonviolent misdemeanants to cut jail numbers, instead of building a new, and costly, facility.
“You can build a jail as big as you want, but you’re still going to fill it up,” Scales said. “We can’t just keep putting nonviolent (misdemeanants) in jail. We need to give them incentive to do better in life.”
Scales said he believes Sheriff Alan Jordan “has done a wonderful job” as sheriff.