Former law enforcement officers endorse Mark Turner

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019


This letter is a dual representation of support for the Southampton Sheriff’s Office candidate Mark B. Turner. It is from the perspective of two law enforcement officers with a combined 57 years of experience and both retirees of the Sheriff’s Office in which Mark seeks to lead.

We both share a deep appreciation for the dedication and longevity of service given by all of the candidates to their respective agencies and communities. But as in most things, there can only be one chosen. We respect every citizen’s right to choose their preferred candidate, but for those who may be undecided, we wish to share some thoughts. As longtime insiders from within the law enforcement community and specifically the Southampton Sheriff’s Office, we have seen first-hand the evolving challenges and complexities of the issues that exist in, not only our world as a whole, but our local communities as well. Technologies, ever-changing laws and social expectations have brought about positive progress in many ways and equally have created new obstacles for law enforcement agencies and the communities in which they serve.

We believe that each candidate has positive attributes, but now as regular citizens we ourselves are looking for a candidate who embodies a more total and well-rounded set of attributes to lead the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, protect the citizens and their properties within Southampton County and the City of Franklin, and to lead Southampton Sheriff’s Office into the future by responsibly utilizing all available resources.

Our support for Mark rests on several fundamental reasons we find to be essential to fulfill the duties and functions that will be necessary to maintain and prosper the Sheriff’s Office and all citizens who will be affected by this election. As you’ve probably read or heard, prior to Mark entering the law enforcement field, he dedicated his formative years to seeking a bachelor’s degree specific to his chosen career, criminal justice. Prior to completion, he chose Southampton Sheriff’s Office in which to fulfill his internship. Once completed, he chose to stay in his home community to dedicate his lifelong career in law enforcement to this one agency and community. Education alone cannot be a predictor of Mark’s abilities and skills, but once affixed to a long solid history of experience in criminal justice, he has become much better equipped to comprehend, assess, and develop strategies to confront problems and lead in a progressive way. Mark personifies these qualities.

Having personally worked alongside Mark for the majority of his career, we have found him to have a comprehensive and extensive grasp of the laws on the federal, state and local levels, and is skilled at enforcing and upholding these laws within the confines of the authority granted to him. Furthermore, having worked in virtually every division within the Sheriff’s Office at some point in his career, this puts him at a distinct advantage to understand the inner working knowledge of the agency, specifically it’s strengths and weaknesses. We believe this is another practical and logical reason to support Mark.

Having already obtained a cumulative working knowledge of the internal structure and issues within the agency, we believe that he has the advantage of immediately implementing initial solutions to address any pre-existing internal deficiencies to include restructuring segments of the budget to better fit existing and future needs of the agency.

Now, as private citizens, we want a Sheriff who has a vested interest in providing a high-quality level of protection while preserving personal rights of individuals and upholding the law dutifully while being responsive to citizen’s concerns and ideas. It is from our personal observations and experiences while working with Mark that he understands the depths of the responsibilities that will be expected from him as Sheriff of Southampton County and the City of Franklin. His intentions are to build a cohesive and prosperous relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens, and to lead with values and integrity while protecting and serving us with great dedication.

Thank you for your time.


Jim Covington

Southampton Sheriff’s Office

Retired Captain

Wanda Covington

Southampton Sheriff’s Office

Retired Detective Lieutenant