Mark Turner for sheriff

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

To the Editor,

In 1971, I joined the Southampton County Sheriff’s Department and like Mark Turner, I served in many different capacities before retiring as a detective lieutenant in 2010. During those years, I had the opportunity to either work with or get to know each of the candidates in an official capacity through my work. During the past 10 years, I have been fortunate to maintain contacts with men and women who work in law enforcement.

I understand the need for changes and improvements that can be made within the Sheriff’s Department and have listened to each of the candidates offer their ideas at the forums that have been held. A smooth-talking politician is not the answer. A high-paid captain who has never worked major crimes and who has spent his time working radar and court would be more of the same in the Sheriff’s Office with the only change being the race of the sheriff. The third candidate has a wealth of experience as a former state trooper; however, he does not have the experience with the operation and issues of this Sheriff’s Department.

Mark Turner came to the department as an intern under Sheriff Vernie Francis. I worked with him and was surprised at how quickly this young man used common sense and what he had learned in college to pick up additional skills as he began working. Upon his graduation he was hired. He was a fast learner in each job that he was assigned. This is the reason he moved through the ranks within the department and was even assigned to work with the DEA on drug enforcement. In 2015, Sheriff Jack Stutts awarded Mark Turner the highest award given within the Sheriff’s Department for risking his life in order to protect others during a dangerous situation that occurred in Franklin.

Mark Turner is well qualified to be the next sheriff of Southampton County and the City of Franklin. He is a fair, honest man with the integrity and skills needed to be the Sheriff. He has served in all capacities and knows where there is room for improvement. I will definitely vote for Mark Turner and encourage all citizens of the County of Southampton and the City of Franklin to stop and think. Do you want someone to really take a common-sense approach to government with the background and education to follow through with the necessary changes? If so, vote for Mark B. Turner.

James F. “Jimmy” Modlin

Retired detective lieutenant

Southampton Sheriff’s Department