Law Enforcement Training, Impact of Crime in Small and Rural Communities and Heroin Overdose Epidemic among the Issues Discussed
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – On Friday, February 19, 2016, U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose convened a roundtable discussion with police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement representatives of the district’s westernmost counties, to discuss law enforcement related issues impacting their communities.
“It is incredibly important to have officials from the local, state and federal law enforcement coming together in an effort to further build the partnerships we have worked so hard over the years,” said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland. “It was obvious everyone at the meeting had the safety of each of their community at heart and everyone knows it’s going to take all of us working together.”
The meeting was held at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Justice Center in Cherokee, N.C., and was attended by C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and representatives of The Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, the Swain County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the Maggie Valley Police Department, the Brevard Police Department and the Cherokee Police Department.
“As the district’s chief federal law enforcement officer and a representative of the Justice Department, it is important to reach out to our local police departments and sheriffs’ offices to discuss some of the law enforcement issues they are currently facing,” said U.S. Attorney Rose, following Friday’s roundtable discussions. “Local law enforcement agencies know and understand the unique needs of their communities, and their input ensures that we are effectively deploying federal resources to maximize the positive impact on the lives of the people in those communities.”
Among the issues discussed was the need for additional law enforcement training; the impact of crime in small and rural communities; conducting collaborative investigations and focusing on law enforcement initiatives that deliver greater local impact; joint terrorism-related investigations; as well as the epidemic of opiate and heroin overdose deaths. Over the course of the meeting, U.S. Attorney Rose emphasized the importance of developing and maintaining strategic partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and reiterated her office’s commitment to ensuring their needs are met.
“We rely on the dedicated service and assistance of our partners in local law enforcement agencies to keep our communities safe. They are important partners and teammates and I have tremendous respect and gratitude for their professionalism, partnership and hard work. Following today’s discussion, I am confident that we all have an increased understanding of the each other’s needs in accomplishing our common goal: the safety and well-being of the people in our communities.”