Kidwell among Sheriff’s Association Defender of Public Safety Award recipients

Published 11:43 am Friday, January 12, 2024

From North Carolina Sheriff’s Association:

Raleigh, NC — At the conclusion of each long legislative session, the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (Association) recognizes a select group of legislators with the Defender of Public Safety Award. The award was created to recognize those legislators who are attentive to issues critical to protecting, preserving and enhancing the Office of Sheriff and issues affecting public safety in North Carolina.

The Association began the tradition of giving the Defender of Public Safety Award following the 2015 legislative session. This year marks the fifth presentation of the award.

The 2023 Defender of Public Safety Award was presented last week to 32 members of the House of Representatives and 17 members of the Senate. The recipients of the Award this year represent over two-thirds of North Carolina counties, both urban and rural, large and small and cover the entire state from the mountains to the coast.

“Every legislative session sees a heavy concentration of law enforcement and public safety related bills. This award is a small token of thanks to those legislators who went above and beyond to represent the legislative positions of importance to the sheriffs in North Carolina,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood, Chairman of the Association’s Executive Committee. “Association leadership uses a list of carefully selected criteria when determining who qualifies for the award because we want this award to be meaningful. We want the public to know if your Representative or Senator is a Defender of Public Safety, he or she worked hard on legislation that will have a true positive impact on your sheriff’s office and the safety of your community.”

“We are fortunate in North Carolina to have a General Assembly that truly supports their sheriffs and law enforcement. We would love to be able to give the Defender of Public Safety Award to every member because we know all of them support law enforcement and want to live in safe communities,” said the Association’s President Sheriff Darren Campbell, Iredell County. “However, we reserve this Award for those Representatives and Senators who, among other criteria, are primary sponsors of and advocates for bills the Association supports as a high priority and who work with Association staff to improve bills that the Association opposes.”

The 2024 session is expected to begin in April and will likely see many additional law enforcement and public safety related bills. Once again, the Association looks forward to working with the 2023 Defenders of Public Safety recipients and other members of the General Assembly on legislation that will impact the Office of Sheriff and the citizens of North Carolina in a positive way.

2023 Defender of Public Safety Award Recipients

North Carolina House of Representatives
Dean Arp
Kristin Baker
Jennifer Balkcom
John Bell
Brian Biggs
Allen Chesser
George Cleveland
Sarah Crawford
Kevin Crutchfield
Ted Davis
Jimmy Dixon
John Faircloth
Dudley Greene
Destin Hall
Kelly Hastings
Jake Johnson
Abe Jones
Brenden Jones
Keith Kidwell
Donny Lambeth
Charlie Miller
Tim Moore
Ben Moss
Erin Paré
Reece Pyrtle
Robert Reives
Jason Saine
Wayne Sasser
Mitchell Setzer
Carson Smith
Sarah Stevens
Shelly Willingham

North Carolina Senate
Phil Berger
Dan Blue
Danny Britt
Warren Daniel
Ralph Hise
Brent Jackson
Todd Johnson
Michael Lazzara
Michael Lee
Tom McInnis
Tim Moffitt
Buck Newton
Paul Newton
Jim Perry
Bill Rabon
Norman Sanderson
Vickie Sawyer