Guilford County Sheriff-elect Danny Rogers is now hitting back hard at his critics – especially Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes – and is adamantly defending his move to fire 28 employees in the Sheriff’s Department.

Barnes was highly critical publically of Rogers’ quick action and now Rogers is firing back. Barnes in a local television news interview said the firings and other recent actions by Rogers were putting the county in jeopardy and, when the reporter asked Barnes was he not worried that his statements would frighten county residents, Barnes looked into the camera and said, “They need to be afraid.”

Rogers said the Sheriff’s Department has over 600 employees and only half of the 28 fired were full-time employees. In a press release this week, Rogers said the number of full-time permanent employees terminated was only 14 and added that the remainder were only part-time personnel most of whom were retired and only working a few hours per week at their convenience.

“For Barnes to indicate this is a ‘frightening development,’ is a response clearly uttered to strike fear in residents,” Rogers’ statement read. “What is truly ‘frightening’ is he feels that less than 1 percent of his department are the only people within his organization that know anything or can step up and fill others’ shoes.” (Twenty-eight employees make up over 4 percent of the department, which had 633 employees before the firings.)

According to Rogers, the employees let go were working “at their leisure” and were “not really needed.”

Rogers also said that having those people on the payroll was a waste of taxpayer money and said one of his first goals is to streamline the department and make it more efficient – something Barnes was unwilling to do, he said.

According to Rogers, the Sheriff’s Department’s retiree callback program combined with its use of part-time workers had added nearly $1 million to the department’s budget over the last 6 years.

Rogers stated that, during the transition, he and the people he brought in have found multiple instances where Barnes has “allowed money to be spent recklessly and unnecessarily.”

He said he’s certain that, as he gets further into overseeing the department, he will uncover even more ways in which Barnes was falling down on the job.

Rogers also stated publically several times that the Guilford County Sheriff’s office has many great men and women working hard to protect the citizens of Guilford County.

In a press release, Rogers stated, “It wasn’t the work of B. J. Barnes that put the officers in the best light, it was the great work of the officers that hid the ineptitude of their leader.”