Asheville, NC – “We have to begin before day one,” stated Buncombe County Sheriff Candidate Shad Higgins at a small gathering of his newly appointed Advisory Board on Tuesday. “We can’t wait. The people of Buncombe County can’t wait. We need to start now. We need to lead,” referring to the urgency for strong, experienced management at all levels of the Sheriffs Department.
Determined to launch “a new era of robust leadership,” Higgins decided to publicly release his transition and strategic plan for the Sheriffs Department so that, “the people of Buncombe County will know exactly how we’re going operate from the very beginning, with highest levels of respect, integrity, and professionalism.”
Days after his family business was suspiciously destroyed by fire, Higgins demonstrated a “stronger than ever
commitment to winning this race and bringing respect and integrity back to the Sheriffs Department,” said Anthony Coggiola, an experienced law enforcement officer and retired Special Forces Veteran, and a member of Higgins ‘ Advisory Board.
“People want to know who will be serving and protecting this community. They want to know how they will be kept safe. And they want to know that the Sheriffs Department will work with professionalism and courtesy,” Higgins told the group gathered at his headquarters as he reviewed the final draft of his plan. “This explains exactly how we will do that. We’ve taken on the best, most experienced people in the county to assemble the department and to serve our friends and neighbors.”
Pausing for a moment, Higgins looked at the group and told them what the past few days have been like. “My family and I were subjected to something awful last week,” referring to the devastating fire that destroyed Weaverville Tire & Wheel, his company on Old Mars Hill Highway. “But it hasn’t slowed us down one bit. Our community gathered around us and we’re back open for business already. The people of Buncombe County do what all Americans do in the face of an attack like this. They stay calm. They remain brave. And they unite. This week has us working at a new level of devotion and commitment. This won’t stop us. Nothing will,” Higgins told his new Advisory Board.
Members of the Higgins Advisory Board include:
Higgins said “We gauge our wealth on love and community support. I am so overwhelmed with love
and Support. We are truly Blessed.”
In introducing his transition plan, Mr. Higgins explained each point of the following:
Five points guiding the transition of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office:
1. Leadership – A top to bottom shift to a servant leadership style of policing, asking nothing of
employees that leadership would not also do themselves.
2. Integrity – Recast recruitment and retention so that all personnel are trained to a higher level of
respect, professionalism, and coultesy.
3. Community Engagement – Make it a priority to engage the community and build trust.
4. Technology – Expand Buncombe County’s ‘toolbox’ and use new technologies to the department’s
5. Accountability-Based Policing – Streamline the Sheriffs Office to respond more quickly to the
needs of the community, and to measure results to help bring immediate resources to immediate
It is the mission of the Buncombe County Sheriffs Office to provide professional, high quality and effective
law enforcement and correctional services in partnership with the community. We are committed to the
protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order, and safety; the vigorous enforcement of
Local, County, and State Laws; and the defense of the Constitution of the State of North Carolina and the
Constitution of the United States of America in a fair and impartial manner.
• RESPECT: Treat others with consideration and professionalism. Being respectful of others does not
imply you have to accept every suggestion or thought; there are different approaches in dealing with
day to day issues without having to compromise your values.
• R – “Respect”: “Bring back mutual Respect” Quality, Regulatory Standards, Customer
Service, Professional/Industry Confidence.
• E – “Educate”: ” Educate Officers and Citizens” through training.
• S – “Safe Communities” : “Community” forums for input and improved efforts of
community policing programs
• P – “Protect Everyone”
• E – “Effective Communication” Active Listening. Engaged Dialogue.
• C – “Community Involvement” Intentional Outreach. Town Hall
• T – ” Tell / Share with Us” We want to know how we are doing and will endeavor to