John Douglas ‘Doug’ Doughtie has filed to run as a Republican for Dare County Sheriff. He faces Ryan White in the primary on May 4. Here’s more about Doug in his own words:

ToD: Tell us a little about yourself.

Doug: I am 51 years old and happily married to my wife Shanon for 17 years and we live in Kill Devil Hills with two of our sons. Tyler is 16 and in the 11th grade at First Flight and Noah who just turned 9 is in the 4th grade at Nags Head Elementary School. I have an older son Brent who is 24 and lives in Ahoskie, and just finished Basic Law Enforcement Training and is waiting for a job with the Ahoskie Police Department. My wife is a secretary with the Kill Devils Hill Police Department where she has been for a year, after taking several years off to be with our sons. She previously worked for ten years with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office as a Secretary and with communications.

I have been in Law enforcement over two thirds of my life starting in Ahoskie in 1977 and working there for 12 years as a Lieutenant.  In 1989 I came to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Bert Austin. After working my way through the ranks to Lieutenant, I was in charge of CID (Criminal Investigations and Narcotics).The last two years I finished as the School Resource Officer in the First Flight High School ending a 30 year career. Out of those 30 years I never went to work a day that I didn’t enjoy doing what I did.

During my time with the Sheriff’s Office I worked various part-time jobs on the beach, the longest of which was a carrier with the Virginian Pilot for almost sixteen years in different locations from Nags Head to Duck, NC.

Along the way I also worked part-time jobs at Kellogg’s Supply in Duck for several years, R-C Theaters when it was in Nags Head, cleaning carpets, driving a school bus for Nags Head Elementary and a  route for First Flight High School  and for the last six summers I have done pools with Three-C’s.

We are members at Kitty Hawk Baptist Church where I am actively involved with the youth program, and also a member on the Deacon Board. I am also a member on the Board of Directors for Babe Ruth Baseball and active with the Dare County Parks and Recreation as a coach for basketball, baseball and soccer. I enjoy golf and reading in my spare time as well as spending time with a busy family schedule.

ToD: What are your qualifications and why did you decide to run?

Doug: I have been a law enforcement officer for the past 34 years, this has been my life and I have enjoyed serving the public in every aspect. Since I was 18 years old I have been involved with police officers and law enforcement in some form, whether that be a ride-a-long, dispatcher, police officer, deputy, supervisor, detective or any of the many positions I have served in during my career. Law enforcement being something I loved, I naturally wanted to learn all I could about it. I have received around 2500 hours of formal training, not counting the countless number of hours of on the job time training.

As to why I decided to run;  Several years ago, I came to believe that I could truly make a difference to both the citizens of Dare County and the men and women of the Dare County Sheriffs Office.  To this day, I truly believe I can make that difference, but only as the Sheriff.  I committed to running for the office of Sheriff and remain so.

ToD: What is the most important issue facing the Sheriff’s Department and how would you tackle it?

Doug: Unfortunately, there is no number one issue facing the Sheriffs Office.  Many of the issues have gone unattended for too long and have grown to major problems.  There are common denominators that allow for many of these issues to be addressed at the same time.  Please allow me to expand on this; drugs and drug usage in adult and teenagers, domestic violence issues, increase in property crimes due to a sluggish economy. All of these have a common denominator which is the lack of police presence in neighborhoods, schools and our business communities. We have to put our officers back into these communities and get involved with our neighbors and their neighborhoods and become an integral part of their community again. This can be accomplished with certain officers assigned to certain areas where they become acquainted with the people who live there, what their jobs are, what their concerns are and what they can do to help. This can be done with officers that walk the beat in the business communities, motorcycle officers that can be in the larger communities like Colington Island, Avon, Hatteras, Manns Harbor and Burnside, thus giving the officers quick enough transportation to get around, but yet the openness of the vehicle lets the officers stop and talk and are face to face with the people which makes the contact so much more personal.  Many of these communities feel neglected and unattended too; and rightfully so.  For the past few years, much of the focus of the Sheriffs Office has been diverted from the basics of law enforcement to other duties that are of little concern to the majorities of the communities.

By getting back to the basics of Law Enforcement – learning the community, people and businesses of the community – the criminal element and the elements that affect the quality of life for our citizens.  Many refer to this type of law enforcement as Community Policing, unfortunately, this is simply basic POLICING.

ToD: Thank you, Doug

Doug: Thank you for taking the time to ask these questions.  I am truly appreciative of your allowing me to provide these responses.