Smith appointed Interim Sheriff

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

JACKSON – With the early retirement of Sheriff Wardie Vincent, Northampton County lost 40 years of law enforcement experience.

The county regained that expertise here Monday morning.

Jack Smith

Jack Smith

In a 5-0 vote, the county’s Board of Commissioners appointed Jack Smith as Interim Sheriff. Smith, who retired July 31 as Chief Deputy with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, has 40 years in law enforcement, the majority of which were spent with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol from where he retired at the rank of Lieutenant from the Troop A headquarters in Greenville.

Smith is a native of Northampton County and at one time was stationed in his home county as a Highway Patrol Trooper. He also worked for the Enfield Police Department prior to becoming Chief Deputy for Nash County Sheriff Dickie Jenkins, a Northampton County native as well.

At Monday’s meeting, Commission Chairman Robert Carter said the board conducted face-to-face interviews on Friday (Aug. 2) with two of the seven candidates expressing interest in becoming Interim Sheriff.

“Following (Friday’s) session, we felt one of those two would be appointed to fill the unexpired term of Sheriff Wardie Vincent,” Carter stated. “I call for a motion to offer the position of Interim Sheriff to one of these two applicants.”

Commissioner Joe Barrett offered the motion, saying, “Based upon the interviews this board conducted and on the discussions by this board, I believe we should offer Jack Smith the job as Interim Sheriff.”

Commissioner Chester Deloatch seconded the motion, which passed without objection. The board also agreed to pay Smith an annual salary of $54,032.

The name of the other finalist for the job was not released. Other applicants were Marvin L. Moody Sr. – a former member of the Gaston Police Department; Brenda Burnette – currently the Captain of Investigations with the Northampton Sheriff’s Office; Christopher T. Buffaloe of the Seaboard Police Department, and Commander of the Conway-Severn Volunteer Rescue Squad; Gregory S. Colson Sr. of the Jackson Police Department, a former Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy; Jesse Stevens Jr. – Chief of the Woodland Police Department; and Eddie M. Buffaloe Sr. – retired deputy from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.

After the vote was taken, Carter directed County Manager Ken Creque to arrange a meeting with Smith to finalize the appointment. Smith was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting.

Following the close of the meeting’s regular session, Carter told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that he and the board had fulfilled their requirements under the state’s General Statues to name an Interim Sheriff upon the retirement, resignation or termination of an elected Sheriff who still has time remaining on their current term of office. That decision is required to be reached at the first scheduled meeting of the commissioners following the date of resignation/retirement/termination. Vincent’s last day on the job was Wednesday, July 31. He announced in May that he would not seek another term in office, one scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

Carter said he was not up to speed on the procedure to swear in Smith as Interim Sheriff. He believes that duty rests in the hands of the Clerk of Superior Court. Until the time that Smith takes the oath of office, Daryl Harmon, currently the Chief Deputy of the Northampton Sheriff’s Office, will serve as Acting Sheriff.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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