Today, Pat McCrory addressed the North Carolina Sheriff's Association Annual Training Conference in Sunset Beach and named Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes the statewide Chairman of Law Enforcement for McCrory.
"Our state government is broken and it will take an outsider to fix it," said Pat McCrory. "Fortunately, our Sheriff departments are not broken, but our broken state government sometimes makes their jobs harder. Sheriffs see the problems on the ground everyday, so I thank Sheriff Barnes for his leadership and willingness to head the Law Enforcement for McCrory coalition and advise me on law enforcement issues."
"As Mayor of a city for 14 years, Pat McCrory gained hands on experience dealing with law enforcement issues," said Sheriff Barnes. "His record of putting more police officers in the streets, lowering the violent crime rate in a growing city and creating a youth mentorship program to help at risk students proves he fully understands prevention and enforcement strategies. Governor is a tough job, but Pat McCrory has proved himself to be a successful, capable leader."
In his speech to the NC Sheriff's Association Annual Training Conference, Pat McCrory reiterated his belief that to make a dent in crime, North Carolina must place a heavy emphasis on job creation and educational opportunity for young people.
"We have one of the worst unemployment rates in the country and I believe the best way to give people opportunities in life and reject a life of crime is to give them a job," McCrory explained. "We need a high school degree program that prepares students to succeed in college. But we also need to promote a path for students to enter the job market or attend a community college to receive vocational training and core skills."
In his speech, Pat McCrory also addressed the growing need to improve the state's crime lab to help fight crime.
"There have been too many examples of omitted, overstated or falsely reported evidence coming from the state's crime lab," McCrory said. "We have real law enforcement challenges on the ground like the expanding influence of gangs and drug cartels in our towns, so we must address the state of North Carolina's crime lab if we are going to make a bigger dent in crime."
Additionally, Pat McCrory addressed the need to support cost-effective drug treatment programs for non-violent offenders to reduce recidivism rates.
"This is a choice," McCrory explained. "We can ignore the underlying addiction and send non-violent offenders to regular prisons to interact with violent offenders, or we can send them to treatment facilities where they can reclaim their lives and become productive members of their communities."
McCrory also addressed the challenge of caring for individuals with mental health problems in the criminal justice system: "Currently, 15-20% of those incarcerated have some kind of mental health condition and often cannot follow the rules and don't get necessary medication or treatments. We must take a system-wide look at how we address those with mental health conditions."
Law enforcement leaders have stepped forward and endorsed Pat McCrory's campaign for Governor, including the North Carolina Troopers Association and 39 Sheriffs from across the state.