Aulander’s ‘top cop’ takes oath

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2007

AULANDER – With his three-year-old son holding the Bible, James Michael “Mike” Patterson was officially sworn in as Aulander’s Chief of Police here Wednesday night.

Little Joey Patterson, who stood in a chair to be a part of the swearing-in ceremony along with his dad and Aulander Mayor Joe Jernigan, wasn’t the only one beaming with pride on Wednesday evening. The Aulander Community Building was filled with law enforcement officers representing several jurisdictions as well as members of Patterson’s family and Aulander townspeople.

“I would like to thank my family and friends for being here tonight,” Patterson said following the brief ceremony. “I’m looking forward to serving the citizens of Aulander.”

Several members of the local law enforcement “family” used the occasion to express well-wishes to Aulander’s new top cop.

“Being the Chief of Police of a one-man department is a lot tougher than it sounds,” Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins said. “You are where it starts and you are where it stops.”

Atkins went on to remind Chief Patterson that Aulander is a part of Bertie County.

“The Bertie Sheriff’s Office is always ready to help you and this town,” Atkins noted.

Patterson’s former boss, Roanoke Rapids Police Chief J.G. Lawson, praised the performance of his former patrol officer.

“We’ve lost a good officer, but Aulander is gaining a good police chief,” Lawson said. “We’re proud of you, Mike, and our prayers are with you.”

Aulander’s former Chief of Police, Jimmy Barmer, gave a “thumbs-up” to his successor.

“I regret leaving this job, but Aulander is getting a good law enforcement officer,” Barmer said.

Then, turning to Patterson, Barmer stated, “If you ever need me, you know where I’m at.”

Aulander Commissioner Henry Spruill said he was thankful to have Patterson onboard.

“We’re looking forward to working with you,” Spruill remarked.

“We’re excited to have Mr. Patterson join us,” Mayor Jernigan said. “He brings many years of law enforcement knowledge to our town.”

Patterson is a native of Chowan County, but spent many years in Hertford County. His parents, Lee and Carolyn Sumner, still reside in the St. John community.

Patterson, 36, is a 1990 graduate of Edenton Holmes High School. He went on to obtain his Basic Law Enforcement training at Halifax Community College, graduating in 1992.

During his law enforcement career, Patterson was worked with the Plymouth, Williamston, Murfreesboro, Elizabeth City and Roanoke Rapids police departments. He was also employed as a Deputy with the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.