Honor and duty are sovereign

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Citizens of Gates County may not realize the extent to which Sheriff Edward E. Webb and his deputies go to insure the safety and quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Recent actions by Deputy Sergeant Johnnie Wiggins are just a hint of the code of conduct and dedication by which the law enforcement team lives by daily.

Sgt. Wiggins is responsible for the beautiful new North Carolina State flag flying out in front of the County Courthouse since Dec. 1. He is now working on obtaining an official County flag and he’s dedicated to the &uot;Warriors Creed&uot; and striving to live by the Core Values set by the Sheriff’s office; Courage, Honor and Pride.

In the Warriors Creed, Sheriff Webb and the deputies proclaim themselves to be protectors of the innocent and guardians against oppressors. They also state they will maintain their Code of Honor and that no sacrifice is too great nor any service too small to do for their fellow man.

The General Orders of the Gates County Sheriff’s Office declare that each officer is to patrol the county in a professional manner, staying alert and observing everything that takes place. They also vow to be watchful at night while we are sleeping and to be prepared to confront illegal activities in an aggressive manner, but with control and professionalism.

A portion of their Code of Conduct asserts they will keep their private lives unsullied as an example to all, and that they will behave in a manner that does not discredit this nation, the county or the sheriff’s office. They also promise not to act in a haughty manner or to permit personal feelings, prejudice, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities, or friendships to influence their decisions.

Looking over all those promises is cause to consider the men and women who made them and to wonder how in the world they can possibly live up to such standards.

Take the sergeant for instance… I must say that I have never met a more forthright person than Sgt. Wiggins. Educated in a seminary school, his life appears to be exemplary of what every officer of the law should strive to attain.

Speaking with Sgt. Wiggins is a joy because you won’t hear discouraging words. He is proud to say that he believes in God and country and will not pollute his speech with profanity. He also refuses to demonstrate any except the most admirable behavior, including his military-style stance even when he’s &uot;at ease.&uot;

Sgt. Wiggins is extremely proud to serve as an officer in the Gates County Sheriff’s Office and he’s not the least bit shy about his dedication to Sheriff Edward E. Webb and all for which he stands.

The sergeant notes that Sheriff Webb efficiently and professionally operates the office in a military manner exemplary of the Army Rangers or Green Berets. Wiggins says he believes this is the only way to successfully operate within a law enforcement agency.

As Sheriff Webb presented his annual report to the county commissioners, it was obvious he, the deputies and the 911 Communications Technicians we so often take for granted are truly in the business of protecting and serving. Even to the point of unlocking our vehicles when most law enforcement agencies refuse to do so nowadays thanks to our overly litigious society.

Take a moment to read the sheriff’s report on page 1A of the Index today. Then, take a moment to think of the men and women who provided all those services. It is obvious to me that Sheriff Webb and the deputies as well as the 911 Communicators deserve our greatest respect and gratitude.

Don’t wait until you need emergency service of some kind, but instead call the Sheriff’s Office at 252-357-0210 to say thanks, or send a brief note of support and thanks to P.O. Box 154, Gatesville, NC 27938.