In front of prominent local officials, including Senator Tom McInnis and Rep. James Boles, the Board of Commissioners honored soon to be retiring Sheriff Neil Godfrey at their regular meeting Tuesday.

There were a number a presentations to honor Godfrey including a proclamation from the commissioners and a presentation of his service weapon, badge, and a plague.

Sheriff Godfrey expressed his appreciation to both the board and the employees and staff of the sheriff’s department. “The finest sheriff’s office in North Carolina” according to Sheriff Godfrey.

Sheriff Godfrey was defeated in the Republican Primary by incoming Sheriff Ronnie Fields. The board appointed Marty Key as Interim Sheriff until December 3 when Fields will be sworn in.

Sheriff Godfrey oversaw the construction and staffing of a new detention center as well as the installation of a new VIPRE radio system, which was credited with saving lives during hurricane Florence, and the integration of Animal Services under the Moore County Sheriff’s office.

One of Godfrey’s initiatives started was the Moore County Dog Tags Program, which pairs wounded soldiers with dogs. Soldiers are taught how to train Animal Services’ dogs, so they are more likely to be adopted.

The curriculum includes proper handling of dogs, how to manage an aggressive dog, basic obedience training, insurance issues, information about search and rescue dogs, and careers associated with dogs.

The current director of the program is Tom Israeli. The latest Dog Tag’s class was presented and honored at the meeting.

In other business, the board appointed Debra Ensminger as 2020 Moore County Census Liaison and created a 2020 Count Committee. The Census will be hiring over 5,000 workers in North Carolina, including 175 in Moore County.

A public hearing has been scheduled for December 3 at 5:30 p.m. to consider amendments to the Moore County Road Name and Addressing Ordinances and also to consider text amendments to the Unified Department Ordinance.

The board also published a notice of intent to levy an additional one quarter-cent county sales and use tax, which was approved by the voters in the most recent election.

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled December 3, 2018.

Written by Sandhills Sentinel reporter, Chris Prentice.


Contributed Photograph.

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