Jackson County sheriff candidate questionnaires
(Editor’s note: The following identical questionnaires were submitted to the two candidates vying for Jackson County sheriff in the Nov. 6 election. The two candidates’ responses are listed below in alphabetical order. Incumbent Chip Hall faces challenger Mark Farmer in the race.)
Name: Doug Farmer.
Address: P.O. Box 313, Dillsboro, NC 28725.
Occupation (include official job title and name of employer): Detective -- Sylva Police Department.
Educational background: Southwestern Community College -- Basic Law Enforcement Training, Leadership Conference, SWAT, FBI’s Street Survival School and multiple other certifications, NC Justice Academy -- First Line Supervision, Drug Interdiction, Kroll Academy -- International Police Officer Training, Advanced Law Enforcement certification.
Spouse / children: Regina / Taylor, Dawson and Isabella.
Church / clubs /civic organizations: Member Locust Field Baptist Church, Cubmaster -- Pack 999 Sylva, Multi-Disciplinary Team Member @ AWAKE Children Advocacy Center, Former president of Fraternal Order of Police -- Lodge #81 Macon/Jackson, member of Junaluska Masonic Lodge #145.
Party affiliation: Republican.
Name two challenges you would face if elected and what you would do in response to each of these challenges: One challenge throughout the county is fighting the drug problem/opioid crisis. With the lack of attention from our current administration, the problem has continued to grow. We must be a proactive not a reactive department and we must listen to the citizens in our communities and act upon information given. This will allow us to be more effective and focused on our enforcement efforts. Visible and adequate patrols within all communities are a necessity to deter criminal activity. We must address the problem at the source, the dealers who have continued to distribute their poisons without fear. We must pursue them and hold them accountable.
The second challenge is school safety. New funding has been recently provided by the board of commissioners for additional school resource officers and security cameras. New officers are now being trained and placed within schools that were previously without. We cannot get complacent with these new additions. Training and assessment of protocols for quick responses to any given situation that may arise is a must. Safety drills should be conducted and standing protocols should be assessed on an annual basis at minimum. Drills should include any first responders from other departments in Jackson County that may provide assistance during an incident. Law enforcement must work with school officials to provide expedient notifications to parents and other officials that may be impacted by a critical incident situation. Ongoing training is essential in order to provide familiarization of a school’s layout for agencies responding.
Do you think more could be done to make incident reports available to the public to give a clearer picture of crime in Jackson County: I believe a monthly statistic data sheet could be provided for citizens to view, either in print or online. The statistical data provided can show types of incidents / crimes reported and arrest totals. Public service announcements could be used as well to notify citizens of potential concerns and precautions. This would provide much needed information for our citizens.
Why should people vote for you: I am a native to Jackson County, born and raised in the Whittier area and now raising my children in the Dillsboro community. The crimes that we have witnessed in our county over the last several years are not what we envisioned for Jackson County. People have seen the results of broken promises from the previous administrations and have grown tired of the lack of concern being shown. I will work hard for the people of Jackson County and the accomplishments I have made in my career show that I have been a proactive officer who likes to see results. I do not turn a deaf ear to problems and concerns of the public that are brought to my attention. I desire to make Jackson County a safer place by creating a professional proactive department that is well trained and eager to serve and make a difference. I want a department that will be part of the community as well, not just a face in passing. I want to boost the morale of those that will work for me and create a better working relationship with other agencies in our area. I will lead from the front and set the example for others to follow.
Name: Chip Hall.
Address: P.O. Box 221, Cullowhee, NC 28723.
Occupation (include official job title and name of employer): Sheriff of Jackson County.
Educational Background: Graduate Sylva-Webster High School, 1986; Southwestern Community College BLET andDetention Officer Basic Certification; NC Sheriff's Leadership Institute graduate.
Spouse / children: Selena Hall, wife; Grayson, son; Raeleigh Mae, daughter.
Church / clubs /civic organizations: Webster Baptist Church member; retired with 25 years of volunteer service from the Cullowhee Fire Department.
Party affiliation: Democrat.
Name two challenges you would face if elected and what you would do in response to each of these challenges: The first challenge is an ongoing challenge of increased call volume as a result of Jackson County's growth. The growth of Western Carolina University, Jackson County's increased tourism and the increases to our overall population will continue to contribute to a higher call
volume. Working closely within our current budget and working with our board of commissioners to continue to address staffing needs will be essential to address our future at
the sheriff's office.
Second, as our nation struggles to find solutions to address increased problems with drugs and overdoses, our county is no different. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office will continue our cooperative working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who want to deal in drugs. For those who are a victim of drug dependency and need help, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office will continue to work alongside our mental health professionals and rehabilitation specialists seeking the best viable solutions for their recovery.
Do you think more could be done to make incident reports available to the public to give a clearer picture of crime in Jackson County: Currently, the Jackson County Sheriff's office makes available the information which follows North Carolina law and gives protection and confidentiality of victims and care and consideration to protect investigation techniques. Often incident reports include a good portion of information that is unfounded at the time of the initial report. The protection of all
of this noted information within incident reports is crucial to a successful and prosecutable case.
Why should people vote for you: I feel the citizens of Jackson County should vote for me based upon my 30-year career at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, which has prepared me to lead the men and women of the sheriff's office with the most valued experience. Being the candidate with supervisory and administrative experience has provided me with the upmost knowledge of the ongoing needs of Jackson County. Myself along with the outstanding staff at the sheriff's office will continue to work for a better and safer Jackson County.