In order for a law enforcement agency to coexist in a community without friction, there has to be communication, transparency, integrity, and accountability. Over time these things can be achieved with the right leadership. Below is the road map to achieving these goals under a Hurley administration.

  • CALEA Accreditation
  • Community Partnership Committee
  • Hiring Standards
  • Training & Qualification
CALEA Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc (CALEA) is considered the "gold standard" in public safety. By taking the necessary steps to have the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office and the jail certified, we are able to:

  1. Reduce risk and liability
  2. Show the community that transparency, integrity, and accountability are paramount
  3. Raise the bar of accountability within the ranks of the Sheriff's Office
  4. Define clear, concise, transparent policies and SOPs that guide our day to operation

"I think being CALEA accredited should have happened years ago. It reduces liability and allows our agency to operate at a higher standard of transparency and accountability. In the long-run it saves taxpayers a lot of money and sets us apart. These are things that are a must if we are going to succeed with today's charged emotions towards law enforcement. Agencies that don't have clear policies and a quasi-transparent approach towards incident reporting ends up giving agencies and law enforcement professionals around the country a bad name. I won't allow our agency to be the cause of bad feelings towards LEOs" - David Hurley

Community Partnership Committee

The Sheriff is an elected representative of the people he/she serves. The Sheriff's Office is not an agency run by a mayoral appointed police chief. Because of this expectation to serve the people, the Sheriff's Office must be an agency built on pillars of community engagement, feedback, and transparency.

As part of the initiative to turn the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office into a Community Oriented Policing agency, a Community Partnership Committee (CPC) will be formed.


The committee will be made up of non-partisan representatives of the county's communities, with the Sheriff serving as the committee chair.


The committee will enable the Sheriff and the community to have an avenue for open input and dialogue about policies affecting LEO and community interaction, the results of law enforcement initiatives in the community, and unique concerns and needs of communities across the county.


Through open communication, the Sheriff can create more effective policies that the community and Sheriff support unanimously, thus resulting in transparency and accountability. It enables community concerns and problems to be voiced, addressed and solved quickly and precisely before they pose greater risk or concern to the public. Most importantly, it gives the Sheriff open and transparent feedback on how all law enforcement agencies in the county are serving their local communities.

Hiring Standards

The hiring process is the first step in creating an educated, unified, professional and effective organization of any type. At the Sheriff's Office, hiring standards should be high as to avoid hiring individuals that may, with time, become liabilities within the agency and to the public we serve.

Under a Hurley administration, the following requirements would have to be passed before becoming a deputy in Buncombe County:

  1. A complete historical investigation of employment over the last 10 years. Any citizen complaints or uses of force at any agency would be investigated further, using constitutionality, professionalism, and policy adherence as the litmus tests.
  2. High Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) results and scores
  3. 3rd-party external polygraph test
  4. Physical fitness test
  5. Medical examination
  6. Professionalism interview
  7. Constitution examination
  8. Scenario-based communication qualification
  9. Firearms qualification
  10. 60 days of active duty field assessment

In addition to requirements of: College degree and/or military, No felonies or class A1-2 misdemeanors, 21 years of age

Training & Qualification

Training and Qualification standards are two of the primary ingredients to maintaining an educated, unified, professional, and effective organization.

Under a Hurley administration, all current annual and bi-annual training NOT REQUIRED to maintain personal certifications or agency level certifications would be reviewed. Additionally, the following bi-annual training and qualifications would be required to maintain employment at the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office:


  • Annual communication & de-escalation techniques
  • Bi-annual agency approved take-down and restraint techniques (modeled after Judo & Jiu-Jitsu)
  • Annual constitutional responsibility of a sheriff's deputy refamiliarization
  • Annual pepper spray refamiliarization


  • Bi-annual physical fitness test (age specific)(all ranks)
  • Bi-annual communication & de-escalation scenario based qualification
  • Bi-annual agency approved take-downs and restraints


Unlike the abstract "21st Century" approach to policing implemented under Sheriff Miller, the Community-Oriented Policing approach is clear, defined, and used by many agencies throughout the country.

Community-Oriented Policing puts its emphasis on:

  • Prevention of crime through community collaboration and environmental design
  • A geographic "beat" approach to create positive, ongoing relationships between the same deputies and the neighborhoods they patrol
  • Positive interactions between deputies and citizens
  • Outside agency and community partnerships
  • Data analysis and problem solving vs 911 response
  • Community driven initiatives

This type of approach to policing is better for addressing the unique needs of communities and neighborhoods across the county. It allows the agency to deploy more dynamic solutions to problems based on location and ultimately creates a more positive relationship between the Sheriff's Office, its deputies, and members of the community.


First, the Sheriff's Office is a constitutionally elected position that serves the greater good of the county. This is achieved by:

  1. Listening to the concerns and needs of community members through the C.P.C. and quarterly resident surveys
  2. Prioritizing and developing realistic plans for addressing these needs and concerns
  3. Executing the plans in a timely manner to minimize long-term resource usage, and taxpayer dollars wasted

Second, the Sheriff's Office exists to protect the Constitutional Rights of every resident in the county. This is why those seeking appointment of Deputy will be required to demonstrate a clear understanding of these rights and how these rights influence their day-to-day decisions as a Deputy.

Third, the Sheriff has a constitutional duty to investigate, and hold accountable, any accusation of rights violations by elected or appointed individuals towards the residents of this county. This includes individuals operating at a local, state, and federal level. "We must struggle for creating a democratic system that is dedicated to democracy and human rights." - Akbar Ganji

Fourth, It is paramount that the Sheriff ensure statute enforcement and judiciary review be in accordance with the Constitution, therefor ensuring every individual is afforded the guaranteed rights under the 4th and 6th Amendments.


Constitutional accountability is paramount to community-oriented law enforcement and democracy. To achieve and maintain this:

  1. Mr. Hurley will work to have the agency CALEA certified in order to hold the Sheriff, its Deputies, and the Agency to a higher standard of accountability, transparency, and integrity.
  2. A non-partisan Community Partnership Committee (CPC) consisting of representatives from the county's towns and cities will be established. This body will represent the best interests of each community and collaborate with the Sheriff and municipal law enforcement leadership to develop mutually agreed-upon policies that affect county residents.
  3. Establish a Complaint Investigatory Panel (CIP) consisting of constitutional law experts, the Sheriff, and local community leaders, whose sole duty is to review all complaints of constitutional, human, and civil rights violations. These violations are not limited to actions within its borders, but also any actions or decisions that take place outside Buncombe County that infringe on the rights of residents within the County.

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