Jail administrator resigns; Hewitt takes over

Published 1:15 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

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Beaufort County Chief Jail Administrator Laquisha Latham has resigned from that position and is moving into a part-time role, and Capt. Jeremy Hewitt has been assigned jail management duties, Chief Deputy Charlie Rose told the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners on Monday.

“(Latham’s) got some personal things going on, some positive, some negative,” Rose said of the resignation. …(Hewitt) has worked at the Sheriff’s Office for right at 17 years. He and I have worked together closely since we both became sergeants on patrol. So I have the utmost respect for his abilities as far as leadership and organization, and I think after a brief period of a little bit of tension — probably some more turnover when it comes to personnel — I think we’re gonna actually see through his leadership that we will be able to advance beyond where we’ve been over the last couple of years. It’s just gonna take a little bit of time.”

Commissioner Hood Richardson asked Rose about the administrator position as well as the Sheriff’s Office’s staffing as a whole.

“We do have a good number of openings,” Rose said. “I think I mentioned in the last couple of meetings that Pitt County has recruited out of our detention center.”
Eight of the 20 full-time detention center jobs the Sheriff’s Office has been allotted are open, Rose said.

“We’re pretty much going full-court press,” Rose said. “We’re going to move folks temporarily — as temporarily as we can — folks that have had jail experience, folks that have been certified that are in different roles at the office to help out with some of the staffing. And we’re also trying to recruit as heavily as we can.

“Like a lot of other industries, businesses, whether it’s private or government, COVID has had its effects,” Rose added. “The rate that we hire at is right on average for comparing to Washington County or Pamlico County. Craven County pays more at the onset, and Pitt County pays more, so we’re running into those challenges.

Despite the challenges, Rose said he’s not worried about having to close the jail due to staffing issues.

“We’ll get through this time, and I think we’ll be better after it,” Rose said.