GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A Thursday night deadly shooting in Wake County is the latest in a recent string of deputy-involved shootings across North Carolina.
Sheriff’s Offices in Eastern North Carolina are reacting to the news.
“If you are in this profession, you will feel the pain because you very well know it could be you or someone you work with,” said Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance. “We take an oath to go and provide a service that sometimes puts us in danger. Sometimes you will hear people say well that’s your job, but no it’s not our job to die.”
A shooting in early August in Wayne County left Sgt. Matthew Fishman dead and two others injured. Lt. Kelly Cox with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said it’s hitting closer to home.
“We’re used to hearing these tragic stories in major cities, Chicago, LA, New York, but what we’re finding is they are starting to migrate to the smaller communities,” Cox said. “Law enforcement officers can get complacent with how we do our jobs just because nothing bad has happened so when it does happen, we need to try to take a step back and look at how we can be as safe as we can.”
Dance said they send deputies in pairs and use dispatcher’s questions to try to keep deputies safe.
“Are there weapons in the house? How many people are there? Is the person being violent? We aren’t just asking because we can ask, we’re asking because we want our deputies to get in and out safely,” Dance said.
Cox said he tells deputies to use their instincts.
“Keep their head on a swivel and be smart,” he said. “If something doesn’t feel right, there is nothing wrong with calling for backup.”
Because at the end of the day, they want their deputies home safe.
“We want them to go and be safe and we want them to go home to their families,” Dance said. “We’re going to keep on making a difference, we’re going to keep on answering the call and we’re going to keep on responding because that is what we do.”