01/13/08 — Sheriff's Office departments now under one roof on U.S. 70

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Sheriff's Office departments now under one roof on U.S. 70

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on January 13, 2008 2:11 AM

A new location on U.S. 70 serves to put cooperating Sheriff's Office agencies under one roof, Wayne County sheriff's officials say.

Maj. George Raecher oversees the office's criminal investigators, the Agressive Criminal Enforcement Team, the drug squad and the supervisor for the the school resource officers.

All of those departments are now housed in the old Social Services Annex building, at the junction of Hooks River Road and U.S. 70 East in Goldsboro.

The building also now houses the support services staff and patrol division, and the patrol division's meeting room is now there as well.

"I've got all my divisions here now," Raecher said. "It makes management and supervision a whole lot easier than having them scattered all over the county."

The divisions now functioning from the new building had been operating out of at least three different locations, Raecher said.

The move came as a surprise to some Goldsboro residents.

Raecher even shared a story in which he found two men inside the building without authorization and had to question them.

Sheriff Carey Winders said that the impromptu move -- which happened before Christmas without much fanfare -- had some county residents taken aback.

The building once served as a temporary jail.

"We've had some say 'Well, are you having inmates out there again?'" Winders said. "We even have had some neighbors concerned about what we are doing and what we have done."

Winders said he wanted to assure nearby neighbors that absolutely no inmates were housed or working at the new location.

At first, the only indicator that the annex building was now occupied by law enforcement were the SUVs and patrol cars that were parked outside.

The benefits of using the building are many, Winders said -- his detectives now have private offices, where they once used a room filled with cubicles.

"That is something that is quite different," the sheriff said. "Before, we were in a big general area. If you can imagine, it was quite difficult to talk to suspects and victims in an open area."

The Sheriff's Office detectives think the new scenario will work much better, especially as a new state law taking effect this month requires them to audiotape murder suspect interrogations.

Winders said the county is looking into video over audio-based recording because he feels that is the next logical step after audiotape and does not want to waste money employing two new systems.

Another change brought about by the new building is the place where people suspected of drunken driving are brought for testing.

The Intoxilizer sobriety testing machine currently is forced into a location at the communications center, and can now be moved back to a more centralized location at the Sheriff's Office and jail, Winders said.