Sheriff Cathey reflects on reelection, opioid crisis | Enquirer Journal

On May 17, Union County residents once again voiced their support for Eddie Cathey, selecting him as their choice for Union County sheriff with 87.62% — out of the 19,164 votes cast, 16,791 went to Cathey.

since 2002, and has more than 45 years of experience in law enforcement, according

He previously spent time as a member of the North Carolina Highway Patrol as a first sergeant.

Cathey is entering his sixth term as Union County Sheriff; in 2018, he received 82.7% of the vote in a win over fellow Republican challenger Brian Crump; and in 2014, Cathey got 71.5% of the vote in a win over Democratic challenger Sandra Edwards Peterson, according to the NC Board of Elections.

Cathey spoke with The Enquirer-Journal on Thursday about his reelection, his plans for the future and the opioid crisis.

Questions: You just won your primary and have been at your current position for 20 years. How does it feel to still have the confidence of the public after all this time?

answer: I am humbled and honored at the outpouring of community support. I have always received from Union County’s residents. My time as Sheriff of Union County has been very fulfilling and my goal has been and always will be to serve Union County to the best of my ability.

Q: How has the job changed since you first started back in 2002?

A: Over the years, the Union County Sheriff’s Office has seen a great deal of growth and change. I have made it my goal to embrace the changes which benefit Union County’s residents the most. This agency continues to be one of the largest full-service law enforcement agencies in the state of NC and we are very proud of the services we offer that protect our community. Over the years, we have also increased our ability to train our officers here in Union County through the construction of our firing range and mobile classrooms utilized for various training classes. My focus has always been on proactively protecting Union County’s citizens through the fair and efficient enforcement of NC’s current statutes.

Q: Drug overdoses have been on a steady incline in the county over the past decade. What is your office’s plan to combat both this issue and the opioid crisis in general in the county?

A: The Union County Sheriff’s Office has recognized the increase in opioid overdoses and deaths occurring in our area. My plan to combat these issues is to continue proactively enforcing NC criminal laws by identifying and arresting narcotics traffickers. At the same time, I will continue to advocate aiding those suffering with substance abuse addiction. Our goal is to provide those suffering with addiction the help they need while preventing the flow of deadly narcotics into Union County. We are also in the process of building Union County’s first crime lab which will be a state-of-the-art facility. The UCSO crime lab will allow our agency to conduct in-house forensic testing and evidence review which will significantly decrease the time it takes to conduct criminal investigations. Our Narcotics Eradication Team (NET) is out in the community working every day to identify and arrest narcotics traffickers who sell deadly substances in our community.

Q: How long do you envision yourself continuing to run for public office? Is retirement on the horizon?

A: I truly enjoy serving the people of Union County as the Sheriff and I have no plans to retire any time soon.

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