BY DEBBIE PAGE
Surrounded by his wife Tracey and extended family, friends, church members, and colleagues from throughout his career, Major Todd Carver officially retired from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, ending three decades of work in law enforcement.
“I really do appreciate all of y’all coming,” Carver told an overflow crowd of over a hundred well-wishers that spilled into halls and adjoining rooms. ICSO personnel were joined by representatives of the N.C. Highway Patrol, the U.S. Marshals, and Mooresville and Troutman police departments.
“There’s so many good people here,” said Carver. “You forget the words that people say to you, but you never forget the way they made you feel. There’s a lot of you have made me feel really good.”
Carver, who serves on the Iredell-Statesville Board of Education, will continue to work for the ICSO on special projects during his retirement.
Carver started his career in the Mooresville Police Department after a stint in the military, becoming a special enforcement officer, a patrol officer, and a dog handler with K-9 Officer Corsica.
In 2000, Carver moved to the ICSO to join the COPS unit. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004, became a detective in 2006, and earned the rank of lieutenant in 2008, followed by a promotion to major in 2014. Carver also graduated from the 249th Session of the FBI Academy in 2012.
Before presenting Carver with a plaque and a retired major badge, Sheriff Darren Campbell engaged in some good-natured teasing, ribbing Carver’s propensity to be cold-natured, his aversion to vegetables, and his questionable pickup truck driving ability.
Campbell also recounted his enjoyment of pulling practical jokes on Carver, including fake hand sanitizer, setting off stink bombs in his office, and polluting his trash can with discarded tuna fish containers.
The sheriff said he enjoyed texting the early-to-bed Carver at 2:30 a.m. to ask him random sports questions just to aggravate him. “What’s so bad, he’d answer me back,” Campbell laughed.
The sheriff noted that Carver had served as a SWAT negotiator as well as a physical and general training instructor. He was instrumental in mentoring new recruits.
“He is a good person, an officer’s officer, and a great friend,” added Campbell.
Noting Carver’s long career and the many colleagues from another agencies present to honor him, Campbell said, “I just don’t think you understand what you mean and the influence you have and the relationships you have built.”
“He has been so influential on many young officers,” added Campbell.
Though Campbell acknowledged they sometimes argued like cats and dogs, “we always came back together.”
Chief Deputy Andy Poteat noted Carver’s skill as a negotiator, telling the story of a 12-hour standoff with a suicidal man with a gun to his head. Carver talked him down and saved the man’s life.
“I have nothing but good things to say about him. It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes,” Poteat said.
Thomas Thompson, a former colleague in Mooresville, joked that Carver and a few other young officers caused him to lose his hair. He praised Carver’s law enforcement skills but teased him about his running ability, calling him “the slowest man I’ve ever seen.”
On a more sincere note, Thompson remarked that Carver “did a great job for the citizens of Iredell County, and they’re going to miss you.”
Special Victims Unit Detective Sergeant Katie Harwell credited Carver and Campbell for helping her achieve her ambition to be a road deputy. “Without them, I don’t think there would be a female on the road yet,” she said.
Harwell teased Carver about his speed in demonstrations as her BLET trainer despite his “pear shape,” drawing raucous laughter from the crowd.
Carver recalled Harwell’s toughness during drills, saying, “She’d fight a circular saw!”
ICSO Detective Nathan Rash recalled lake patrol days with Carver, who joked they should be wearing bandanas as they boated across Lake Norman because “this is too much fun to be work.” Rash also recalled bike and horse patrols over the years with Carver.
Carver also told a lake patrol story of nearly drowning during a boat title check after a woman knocked him off his jet ski while trying to get the Mardi Gras beads he was wearing. “It ruined a radio, a cellphone, the whole nine yards, but I still didn’t give up those Mardi Gras beads!” he said.
Mooresville Police Department Captain Brian Vanderfink recalled the time Carver tricked him at a party at his home. When they ran out of wood for the fire pit, Carver asked Fink to help him quietly carry some wood.
After Carver loaded Fink’s arms with wood, Fink asked why quiet was necessary. Carver fibbed that it was the neighbor’s wood, causing Fink to quickly drop the wood as Carver laughed.
Carver said he tried to treat people with respect throughout his career.
“It don’t cost nothing to be nice. I’ve tried to live by that. Do the best you can and let the chips fall where they fall,” said
After the remarks, guests enjoyed Carver’s favorites, chicken fingers and sweet tea, along with an array of cakes.