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Long-time law enforcement officer takes up encore duty as sheriff’s chief deputy

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Former sheriff’s office major Jackie Fortner, who retired in December 2021, has been recruited by sheriff Terry Johnson for encore service as the department’s interim chief deputy.

Former Alamance County sheriff’s major Jackie Fortner at his retirement luncheon in December 2021 with sheriff Terry Johnson.

He succeeds Cliff Parker (a former Elon town police chief) who retired in December after four years as chief deputy. Fortner is the fourth chief deputy to serve under Johnson, who has been sheriff since first being elected in 2002.

Fortner was sworn in on Tuesday by chief magistrate judge Jeff Hollan.

Fortner began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a deputy with the Swain County (NC) sheriff’s office. Working his way up through the ranks, Fortner was appointed as Swain County sheriff’s office chief deputy serving in that position from 1994 to 2006. During his tenure as chief deputy, Fortner worked closely with then-SBI special agent Terry Johnson who was assigned to Swain County.

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In December 2006, Fortner accepted a position as an investigator with the Alamance County sheriff’s office working for Sheriff Terry Johnson who had just completed his first term in office.

Fortner again worked his way up through the ranks and was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and major. Fortner retired from the Alamance County sheriff’s office in December of 2021. He began working part time for the agency in May of 2022.

The sheriff recalled his long-time relationship with Fortner: “After being assigned to Swain County as resident SBI special agent on May 1, 1995, I worked side by side with chief deputy Fortner. I found him to be great to work with, and he demonstrated a strong work ethic. Those traits followed him during his career with the Alamance County sheriff’s office. He will serve the citizens of Alamance County well and will continue to be a strong leader of this agency.”

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