Everyone knows there’s power in unity, and that’s even more so the case when the people in question already carry immense legal powers individually.

That’s one reason sheriffs across the state of North Carolina like to meet under the umbrella of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to discuss everything from desired changes in the law to new tools and methods used to catch bad guys.

Recently, the association hosted sheriffs, sheriffs’ personnel and their families from across the state for the 2023 Annual Fall Meeting in Western North Carolina.

This annual meeting is a chance for sheriffs and sheriffs’ personnel to meet up and network, take part in panel discussions and participate in useful training classes that expand their knowledge regarding current policy and practice in law enforcement.

In addition, the meeting also allows them to discuss issues among themselves as well as with other criminal justice professionals.

 The brainstorming sessions – and controlled discussions – often lead the group to come up with desired changes in the state law that the sheriffs believe will be beneficial to society and help make it safer. The group – seen above at a gathering a few months ago – was very pleased that the NC General Assembly voted into law a wide number of changes the association drew up in an effort to make society safer.

In October, association members stated publicly that they were very grateful for actions by the General Assembly in 2023 that showed support for law enforcement.

House Bill 34, the “Protect Those Who Protect and Serve Act,” increased existing penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer, a public safety officer or a member of the NC National Guard.

House Bill 40, the “Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder” bill that’s now a law, increases criminal penalties for rioting and related criminal offenses.

There were other welcome new laws as well thanks to the association.

At the new Fall meeting, training classes and discussion topics covered included evidence management, legal issues regarding mass gatherings and protests, managing civil unrest and legislative updates.

North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association President and Iredell County Sheriff Darren was one attendee who obviously got a whole lot out of the experience.

 “Our Fall Meeting is another excellent opportunity for sheriffs and our personnel to gather for a week of networking and learning,” Campbell said in a prepared statement.  “The sheriffs who attend look forward to the training classes offered at this event and enjoy the panel discussions. These panel discussions are a unique opportunity to learn from each other. We hear from other sheriffs across the state about experiences they have had in their community regarding specific topics. I always look forward to attending Association events to see fellow sheriffs and Association staff.”