Charles Blackwood Graduates Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute
Orange County sheriff Charles Blackwood has graduated from the Sheriff’s Leadership Institute, hosted by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.
Twenty-seven sheriffs from across the state received their diplomas at a ceremony held at the William and Ida Friday Center on Friday.
“When we gathered as newly-elected sheriffs we came from different facets, different walks of life,” Blackwood said. “There were some of us who had military backgrounds, some had backgrounds with highway patrol, some had backgrounds in police agencies.”
The Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute consisted of four one-week training programs conducted over a period of two years to give sheriffs across the state a chance to learn about the position.
“We all thought we pretty much had a really good grasp on what we were going to need to do to assume the office of sheriff,” Blackwood said. “And in about three days we realized we didn’t know as much as we thought we knew.”
The first two weeks were designed to provide specific, technical skills necessary to assume the office of sheriff.
The second two weeks were designed to further their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the leadership and management of the sheriff’s office.
Blackwood said he asked Durham County sheriff Michael Andrews to attend the institute with him, even though Andrews was not a newly-elected sheriff.
“We just had a heartfelt conversation,” Blackwood said. “And I just told him ‘it would mean a lot to me for you and I to go through this class together. We’re brother sheriffs, we’re right next to each other, we need to be working together. I need to know what you know and I need to know that you know what I know.”
While the class is not mandatory for any sheriff, Andrews agreed to attend.
“He will be the first to tell you that what he learned in this class is far more than what he’s learned in his three years as sheriff.”