Residents mingle with Buck MPs at first ‘Coffee with the Sheriff’ event at Cedar Point | New
CEDAR STITCH – The first premier ‘Coffee with the Sheriff’ event, hosted by the City of Cedar Point on Thursday night, was a success, with many residents at City Hall speaking with Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck and others about their concerns.
Sheriff Buck said he and others from the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office were happy to be there.
“It gives citizens the opportunity to ask questions in a relaxed atmosphere and to get to know people face to face,” he said. “Our office is very accessible to people. It is a chance for them to tell us what is happening in their community and for us to get to know certain people.
Cedar Point Town Clerk Jayne Calhoun said she was happy the event has finally taken place.
“I’ve been trying to do this for three years, but we’ve had Hurricane Florence and COVID-19. I think it’s a great participation, ”she noted.
It was difficult to say how many people attended, as they came and went over the two hour period, but it appears there were around 15 attendees most of the time.
The event was informal, with no pre-set questions or discussions, and coffee and light meals provided by the city. People gathered in small groups or spoke individually with Sheriff Buck, as well as others in the office, including Kurt Nakamura, the deputy who works for the city under a contract with the CCSO.
Several locals told the News-Times they feel pretty safe at Cedar Point.
Resident Elizabeth Nutter said she had no security concerns and called Thursday night’s rally “wonderful.” I think they should do it twice a year.
Another resident, Victor Braggioti, said his only concern was loud music at a bar near his home. He called the coffee meeting a good thing, “a chance to put names with faces.”
Deputy Nakamura, who has worked for the city for two years, agreed.
“People can see the faces behind the badges,” he said. “Typically, many people’s experiences with law enforcement are the worst days of their lives, whether they need a police officer or have been arrested for something.”
Events like Thursday’s have allowed people to see and hear that law enforcement officers are “just ordinary people,” he said.
With rapid growth at Cedar Point in recent years, city commissioners have spoken of adding another law enforcement official.
Sheriff Buck, in an interview Thursday night, said he was open to this. He thinks the contract system is working well, but there might come a time when the city needs more.
“If they decide they want to do it, whether it’s another full-time or part-time officer, it works for me,” the sheriff said. “Of course, that takes budgetary resources. “
Cedar Point pays 90% of Deputy Nakamura’s salary, or $ 66,674, and the county pays the rest.
Commissioner John Nash, like Sheriff Buck, said it would be up to the current deputy to determine the increase in resources.
“If he thinks he needs help, if he feels overwhelmed, he will let us know,” Nash said. “We’ll let the situation drive him. “
While the city has its fair share of break-ins and other crime, “the biggest problem really is traffic control, and I will say the Highway Patrol (in the state of North Carolina) has done a better job. work to help us over the past six months, “said the commissioner. “And I think Kurt and the sheriff’s office do a great job of community policing, going out and talking to people.”
Deputy Nakamura said “there are times” when he feels overwhelmed, especially in the summer, but generally thinks he is able to handle situations with the help of the SHP and sometimes other assistants. from the sheriff, for the time being.
“Things have gone really well in the two years I’ve been here,” he said.
Editor’s Note: This title was updated at 12:35 p.m. on Monday, October 11, 2021.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; send an e-mail to [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter @brichccnt.