Sheriff will run to keep position
By Staff Reports
Published in News on February 7, 2010 1:50 AM
Sheriff Carey Winders announced Friday that he will seek a fifth term.
Winders was first elected sheriff in 1994 after working as an investigator with the Goldsboro Police Department for 10 years.
Winders said the Sheriff's Office has come a long way since he took office.
"When I first started, we only had three patrol deputies per shift and a very limited staff for the jail and other divisions. Much of the equipment was either worn out or did not exist."
Winders said today the department has state-of-the-art equipment, technology and additional manpower. In the last few years, he added, the department's fleet of patrol cars and equipment have been augmented with the funds from drug seizures and grants, allowing the department to improve its performance while still lessening the burden on taxpayers.
In addition to the improvements in equipment, Winders said he and his staff have implemented a number of new programs including COPE, which teaches children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
"We also have established and developed a Fraud Identity Unit, Arson Investigation, a Domestic Violence Unit, Crime Prevention, a Drug Interdiction Unit, a gang officer, K-9 units, a dive team, a SWAT team, an honor guard and a helicopter unit, which is maintained with no county tax dollars," he said.
Winders is a Wayne County native and a graduate of Charles B. Aycock High School and the Wayne Community College law enforcement program.
He also was one of the first in the state to graduate from the North Carolina Investigators Academy and is certified by the North Carolina Justice Academy in many areas of investigations including homicide, sexual assault, arson, interview and interrogation, discourse analysis, case management, crime scene processing and financial fraud.
Winders is also a graduate of the National Sheriff's Institute and the FBI Command College and has received training from the Secret Service, DEA, U.S. Department of Justice, Department of State, Homeland Security and the N.C. Institute of Government.
He serves on the North Carolina Sheriff's Legis-lative Committee, Sheriff's Training Committee, Wayne County Juvenile Crime Prevention, Wayne County Latino Council and the Wayne Community Law Enforcement Advisory Board.
Winders said continued training for his deputies has also been a priority during his tenure.
He added that his success has been possible in large part because of the hard work of the men and women who work at the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and the support of the community.
"During the past years, I have certainly been blessed with a command staff, employees and citizens who have helped me carry out my vision and ideas to make our Sheriff's Office successful and professional," he said.
Winders said he hopes to continue to work to improve the Sheriff's Office.
Key to that success is dealing with challenges the department is currently facing.
"We are still facing jail issues such as facility needs and overcrowding," Winders said. "I recently assigned Captain Fane Greenfield and Chief Deputy Ray Smith to assist me with these issues. As the county continues to grow, so does crime. That is why I strongly feel there is a need for more full-time deputies. However, with the economy, I have resorted to utilizing other resources. One of my major concerns is salaries. Although we have a low turnover rate, which is probably due to the economy, our officers need to be paid an adequate salary for putting their lives on the line."
Winders said he feels he is the leader the county needs as it moves forward.
"Being sheriff requires constant involvement with the community, not just during an election year," he said. "Many times people run for office only for prestige and lack the desire to work and make changes. When the citizens first elected me as their sheriff, I knew the challenges I faced and the hard work ahead."
Now that the foundation has been laid, Winders said he is the man to take the department to its next step.
"I believe in order to be a good leader, there are several things one must do," he said. "First, never forget to use common sense -- it is the most valuable asset one can have -- and also pray for guidance. You must never forget you are elected to serve all the citizens, no matter their race, religion, age, political affiliation or status. You must be a good listener and take advice from others and make tough decisions."
Winders said he hopes the community will support him in his bid to continue his work.
"Together we have accomplished many goals, but our work is not complete," he said.
In addition to his professional affiliations, Winders is a member of several civic organizations including the National Rifle Association, Masonic Lodge, Wayne County Shriners, Sudan Temple, York Rite, Woodman of the World and the Mental Health Association.
He is also a longtime member of Union Grove Free Will Baptist Church.
He and his wife, Teresa, have three daughters.