Keeping North Carolinians Safe

No one should have to worry whether their kids are safe when they’re at school or at play or whether their loved ones are safe when they’re at work or at worship. 

As North Carolina’s chief law enforcement officer since 2017, keeping people safe has been my top priority. That’s why my office has prosecuted and convicted violent criminals, including murderers, rapists, and child sex abusers. I’ve worked with both Republicans and Democrats in the legislature to strengthen our laws to protect kids from sex crimes. I’ve also partnered with the legislature to eliminate the nation’s largest backlog of untested rape kits, delivering justice to survivors and putting rapists behind bars. In addition to prosecuting drug traffickers, we’re also working on a bi-partisan basis to tackle the fentanyl crisis.

Our law enforcement officers do critical work in our communities to protect us. That’s why as North Carolina experiences widespread officer shortages, I’ve worked with law enforcement leaders to identify strategies to recruit and retain more public-spirited officers, including hiring bonuses, who will take on this work that is not only dangerous and difficult but also rewarding and important. 

We also have to make sure that those who swear an oath to serve and protect have the highest integrity and commitment to justice. As the co-chair of Governor Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, along with Justice Anita Earls, I helped lead the effort to improve public safety. That means supporting our public-spirited officers and deputies, creating clear rules and training for officers to ensure good outcomes, and improving accountability for those who are not right for the badge. Because of our work, officers now have a duty to intervene when a colleague uses excessive force and early warning systems for law enforcement agencies help correct officers when they make mistakes. 

Building safe communities will continue to be a priority for me as your next Governor. I’ll work to tackle violent crime, confront the fentanyl crisis, and recruit and retain well-trained law enforcement officers to serve our communities.