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Rogers reflects on a year of service as sheriff

High Point Enterprise - 1/12/2020

Jan. 11--GUILFORD COUNTY -- Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers said he has made progress in balancing race in the department during his first full year in office.

Rogers, responding to questions from the Greensboro branch of the NAACP in a press release, said 14 black officers were promoted to new positions and 37 of his new employees are African American, adding that he has made concerted efforts in black and brown communities to fill vacancies in the sheriff's department.

The efforts include displays and recruitment at malls, over the radio and at university career fairs.

Overall, 50 personnel were promoted in the department in the past year, which included people of Hispanic, African and Native American heritage, said Lori Poag, communication specialist for the Guilford County Sheriff's Office.

"When he was running for office, he had promised to bring change and diversity to the office," Poag said. "He's still standing on that promise that he made while in office to promote that positive change and diversity in hiring and recruiting efforts."

Part of the efforts Rogers has made in his first year also include repairing and maintaining relationships with the community, Rogers said. The department has worked on connecting with youth through programs like the Sheriff's Youth Academy, with more than 30 cadets in attendance, and the school resource officer programs.

"We energetically supported diverting cases involving 16- and 17-year-old juvenile offenders out of the criminal pipeline," Rogers said in the release.

"There's definitely change, even that I can see," Poag said.

Partnerships with outside organizations have been essential in connecting with communities and reducing recidivism, the release said. Revamping the GED program with Guilford Technical Community College and enrolling justice-served individuals in human resource development classes there has helped place people in jobs and out of the justice system, Rogers said.

Reentry programs focusing on mental health, through clinical psychologist Lacy Frazer's "Change your Thoughts, Transform your Life" classes, reached more than 70 people in the past year. Rogers said this is a large part of what may help individuals stay out of prison.

The press release also detailed the situations in which sheriff's deputies are required to wear body cameras, which include, among others, situations in which deputies are dealing with suspicious vehicles or people, domestic violence, drug activity, in-progress calls for service and traffic stops.

If a situation becomes investigative, officers may turn off their cameras, the release said, but first they are required to state on-camera the reason for doing so.

Rogers hopes to start his next year in office by providing inmates with tablets that will give them complete access to an online law library database so inmates can stay up to date on their rights and how to represent themselves in court. -- 336-888-3617


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