Right now, Guilford County has a sheriff – BJ Barnes – and a sheriff-elect – Danny Rogers – and apparently this county isn’t big enough for the two of them.
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving, the two men engaged in a war of emails that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the transition of power in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is not going smoothly at all.
The morning of Wednesday, Nov. 21, Barnes sent out an email to the entire department as well as to other county officials. In the email, Barnes wrote that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Guilford County alongside of those in the department.
“Each of you, with few exceptions, has help[ed] make our sheriff’s office one that is copied across the nation,” he wrote.
Barnes went on to state, “I wish things were different but I know the professional you are will carry on thru these trying times. Always remember, your leader and your uniform do not define you, you define who you are and what others think of you.”
Barnes said on Wednesday that he sent the email because he wanted to offer some encouragement to a department that is facing a lot of uncertainty right now. He also said that he wanted to convey the message that if the men and women in the department followed the rules and conducted themselves appropriately, they would be fine.
The email went on to say that the department had policies and procedures in place “that will protect you and the people of Guilford Co.” That was followed by the line: “Know that even though I will not be here, I will be watching.”
Barnes added that if those in the department needed help at anytime they should let him know.
It wasn’t long after that Rogers sent out a response to multiple media outlets and others.
Rogers wrote, “I have just been made aware that BJ Barnes is trying to divide the agency before my arrival.”
Rogers called Barnes’ email “very disturbing” and added, “I am saddened at the fact that BJ Barnes continues to spew his divisive rhetoric. I had hoped this would be a smooth, cordial transition but he obviously has other ideas.”
Soon after the Tuesday, Nov. 6 election, Rogers told the Rhino Times that he was being “professional” during the transition but he could not do anything about it if Barnes was not.
In his Nov. 21 email to the media, Rogers wrote, “I have and will continue to take the high road during this transition phase. My message to the Men and Women of the department is the same as I gave to the voters. I intend on bringing a positive change to all the members of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. All areas of the agency will be analyzed for efficiency, effectiveness, and value to the taxpayers. I look forward to serving with you as we serve the great citizens of Guilford County.”