In the first days after my swearing in, I began implementing my 100-day plan.
Under this plan, my first order of business was to begin evaluating Sheriff’s Office operations by:
meeting with command staff
engaging with all divisions of the agency
learning as much as possible about daily operations
As part of this ongoing process I will continue to listen, learn and evaluate all current policies and procedures with the goal of bringing about any necessary changes. The first major policy action I took was to end the honoring of “ICE holds.” Under this policy people in the Durham County Detention Center who were identified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as being undocumented immigrants were held for an additional 48 hours after their scheduled release. I set this as an immediate action item upon taking office during my campaign and signed the directive ending the policy on my 3rd day.
As a student of Sir Robert Peele, I intend to put into action Peele’s “Principles of Policing.” Using this philosophy, I intend to engage residents, clergy and the business community to identify concerns so we may work together to create solutions. As stated in Peele's principle two, “the ability, of the police, to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
Over the next two months, myself and everyone at the Sheriff’s Office will work hard to improve the transparency, engagement and accountability of the agency following the goals set forth in my 100-day plan.
Clarence F. Birkhead
Sheriff of Durham County
To learn more, please visit the Sheriff’s Office website. You can also hear Sheriff Birkhead discuss his plan further at the Durham Rotary Club on Monday, January 14 at 12:00 p.m. Information on attending the luncheon can be found on the Rotary Club’s site.