“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” President Ronald Regan


I have struggled to comprehend that 2021 was one of the deadliest years on record for law enforcement. I am apprehensive and fearful of what 2022 holds in store for those who choose to wear a badge. With an alarming number of violent deaths of law enforcement officers this past month, I am not encouraged that 2022 will bode well for our profession.

As sheriff, I am acutely aware that the men and women of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office are not immune to the violence that seems to be quickly becoming an epidemic, spreading at an alarming rate across our country. As the number of slain officers continues to mount, those of us in law enforcement find ourselves in a race against time as we evaluate our equipment, policies, and training offered. We must remain hyper-vigilant and on the cutting edge of technology and training standards.

As I watched the widow of slain New York Police Officer Jason Rivera eulogize her 22-year-old husband, her words reverberated conversations I have had with others in the years past. She did not mince words when she pointedly spoke about new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has vowed to dial back prosecution of minor crimes, including resisting arrest. He has openly committed to making incarceration a matter of last resort. While no one wants to see a member of society locked away for months, years, or a lifetime, we must prioritize law-abiding citizens’ safety and well-being. By prioritizing the safety of our citizens, we in turn prioritize the safety of our officers.

As I have said countless times, we must continue to target repeat offenders. We must continue to convict and demand stricter sentences for those who continually victimize society. Statistically, most law enforcement officers who violently lose their lives do so at the hands of a repeat, career criminal.

However, this is only one facet to a multi-faceted problem. It takes all of us working together to change the trajectory of our communities, counties, states, and nation. We must remain unafraid to render evil powerless.

If the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office can assist you in any way, please email me at decampbell@co.iredell.nc.us.

Darren Campbell is the Iredell County sheriff.

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