Friday, January 21, 2022

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Sheriff lauds federal ‘strike team’ for successes against gun violence

Alamance County’s leaders received some good news last week in the ongoing struggle against gun violence in the community.

In a recent report to the county’s board of commissioners, Alamance County’s sheriff Terry Johnson heralded the apparent accomplishments of an interjurisdictional strike team that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Greensboro has mobilized to fight gun violence in Alamance and other neighboring counties.

This federal task force includes a four-person contingent from Alamance County that Johnson was able to field thanks to a mid-year appropriation that the board of commissioners approved in 2020. The sheriff, who appeared before the commissioners on October 18 at the behest of their chairman, John Paisley, Jr., assured the county’s governing board that their financial investment in these four deputies has already begun to pay off.

“I want the commissioners to know that those four positions have paid off tremendously for the citizens of this county,” the sheriff insisted. “We’ve had some shootings in Burlington. But if we did not have these officers take these guns off the streets, you would’ve had a whole lot more in this county.”

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Johnson noted, that since the strike team took the field in January, its members have seized 59 guns and made 117 arrests within Alamance County alone. Johnson also touted the large caches of illegal drugs that the team has confiscated while it has been on the beat. He noted that, in addition to the narcotics themselves, the team has seized more than $150,000 in cash – a portion of which will ultimately revert to Johnson’s own agency.

The sheriff insisted that the team’s results have been so impressive that officials in Guilford and Durham counties now want in on the action. He added that the inclusion of these jurisdictions could potentially address the sources for much of the violent crime that has recently rattled Alamance County.

“We are getting killed by gang activity coming out of Durham,” he told the commissioners.

“I’m sick of the shootings, and I’m sick of the drugs.”

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