Eye in the sky

Published 4:30 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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KELFORD – The installation of surveillance cameras in Keford will hopefully assist local law enforcement in solving future crimes.

Bertie County Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin said a recent spike in the number of drive-by shootings in the western end of the county is troubling news. He noted four such shootings over the past two weeks: two in Kelford, and one each in Aulander and Roxobel. That total doesn’t include a drive by shooting on May 7 just on the outskirts of Kelford where an an innocent victim was struck and later died from his injuries.

“In this age of modern day policing you have to use every available tool to protect your community,” Ruffin said. “Since my administration took office, I’ve implemented different strategies working to invest in the best technology to make Bertie safer and most importantly make the citizens feel safe. In the next week or so, Bertie County Sheriff’s Office is adding another tool to help fight crime with the installation of surveillance cameras in an area of the county that’s most needed.”

The cameras in Kelford will provide vital information that law enforcement officers often find hard to get.

“What makes these investigations difficult sometimes is when there is no cooperation from the public and sometimes no cooperation from the victims,” Ruffin noted. “One thing that I am appreciative of is that because some of the strategies that my administration has implemented, there has been more cooperation between citizens and law enforcement and I appreciate that. I believe that as time goes on our relationship will get stronger and we will have a better county and community for this relationship.”

Ruffin said the decision leading up to selecting Kelford as the first location for surveillance cameras came after he discussed the plan with town officials there as well as the Bertie County Board of Commissioners.

“We are all on the same page to install the cameras in Kelford,” the Sheriff said. “I appreciate the county commissioners for allowing this project to be funded for the safety and the security of the citizens in an area that has been the target of violent acts.”

“We want to do what we can to help lower criminal activity in our county,” stated John Trent, chair of the Bertie Commissioners. “Some of the recent shootings have resulted in injures to innocent people, and what’s even more sad is that we lost an innocent life. That’s not acceptable. We want to do whatever we can to assist the Sheriff and his deputies to apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.”

While the cameras will help with criminal investigations, Ruffin stressed that citizens are still encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office with tips and information if they spot anything suspicious in their communities.

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 252-794-5330.

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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