Newly elected Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers is making a lot of changes in the Sheriff’s Department and he said this week that one of the changes he’d like to see is a second Sheriff’s Department office in High Point with much of the same functionality as that in Greensboro.
Rogers, a native of High Point who now lives in Jamestown, was sworn in at the High Point Courthouse earlier this month. He said this week that a true Sherriff’s Department presence there would strengthen the community’s ties to the department, create a new level of convenience for residents of High Point and bring other benefits as well.
“I’d love to have a place in High Point – we need one,” Rogers said. “I think it would be really great and the community would become more engaged with what’s going on with the Sheriff’s Office.”
Nearly all counties in North Carolina have one and only one courthouse, one jail, one tax office, one Register of Deeds office and so on for all county services with very few exceptions. Guilford County, by contrast, has a fully operational office or facility for a great many services: Both Greensboro and High Point have a county jail, a courthouse, a Register of Deeds office, a Family Justice Center, a tax office, a social services office – and the county has duplication of many other services as well.
Rogers said of High Point residents: “We know what’s going on with the jails; we know what’s going on with the courts, but a lot of people don’t know what goes on with the Sheriff’s Office.”
He said some High Point residents feel a disconnect with the Sheriff’s Department since it doesn’t have a physical location in High Point.
“They look at the Sheriff’s Department as the people who aren’t close – the people who evict them, the people who serve warrants on them.”
“It is always good to engage communities,” Rogers added. “Because you never know what someone is going through in that community.”
While Rogers likes the idea of a new office in High Point, he may have a hard time convincing the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to fund such a project since the board is currently trying to find money for a new Animal Shelter, a new Emergency Services Vehicle Maintenance Center and a new mental health facility – not to mention money for a new Sheriff’s Department headquarters in Greensboro.
Several county commissioners said this week that, while there’s no question a High Point sheriff’s office would be a convenience to citizens in that area, it’s also costly to taxpayers for Guilford County to build, heat, cool and staff two of every office.
Several county officials pointed out that, with many more of the county’s services being offered online, there’s less and less reason every day to have two physical offices.
One high-ranking Guilford County official said the “big mistake” Guilford County made was years and years ago when it first built a second courthouse in High Point. Ever since, he said, High Point citizens have expected to get a duplicate office for every county function.