ELECTION 2022: Q&A – Candidates for Sheriff

Published 3:39 pm Saturday, October 22, 2022

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Editor’s Note: For coverage of the primary election, The Stanly News & Press sent questions to each group of candidates. We limited their responses to 200 words per answer. Answers appear as is, with the exception of editing for grammatical/ spelling errors or length. This allows potential voters to see the candidates through their own words and gives equal opportunity for the candidates to respond.


Jeff Crisco
Davara Ponds*

* did not answer

1. Tell me a little about your background.

Crisco: I have been a sworn law enforcement  (officer) now for over 30 years.

Jeff Crisco

During my career I’ve worked all facets of the job to include patrol, criminal investigations, financial crimes and narcotics. I have been a field-training officer to new officers, a supervisor and a leader.
For eight years, I broadened my experience in high threat environments planning missions and protecting U.S. diplomats abroad.

Most importantly, I have been your sheriff for the last four years and I know first-hand the unique requirements, responsibilities, challenges and skills needed to be your sheriff.

My promise to you is to always continue to put this county and our citizens first.

2. For Crisco: As sheriff, what has your office accomplished over your first term and why do you think voters should re-elect you?

Crisco: Decreased call times. When I took office, the four year average call time response was 12 minutes and 47 seconds. Our call response times are now averaging 11 minutes and 27 seconds.
Solve rate and recovered property rate: From December 2018 to September 2022 the Criminal Investigation Division has recovered over $1.4 million worth of stolen property.

That is an average of $350,000 a month. During this period our solve rate has been 58.48% and the national average is 31.9%.

Narcotics search warrants: Served over 265 narcotics search warrants, which is an average of approximately 1.4 per week.

Reduction in overdoses: After taking office in 2018 to mid-year of 2021, our county’s overdose rate decreased by 29.8% and fatalities saw a 1.2% decrease. During the same period North Carolina as a whole saw an increase of 50.4% in overdoses and a 29.6% in fatality rate.

APS and Shelter accomplishments: Since the Animal Shelter and Animal Protective Services came under the authority of the Sheriff’s Office, we have been able to achieve a 95.2 % live release rate on the animals.

3. Why do you think you are the most qualified candidate for the position?

Crisco: I am the only candidate that is and has been BLET certified and a sworn law enforcement officer for over 30 years.

I made a promise and commitment to the citizens of this county to make a change. I truly believe that is what we have done.

We no longer are leading the state in overdoses, our crime rate is at an all-time low and our solvability rate with our criminal cases are at an all-time high.

4. One of the biggest issues that impacted Stanly County residents in recent years has been the opioid epidemic. For Crisco: how has your office worked to get drug dealers off the streets and help combat this epidemic?

Crisco: When I ran for office in 2018, our county was facing a tremendous problem with the opioid epidemic.

I made a promise and commitment to the citizens of our county that I would use every resource available to combat this issue. At that time, our county was and had been leading the state in overdoses per capita.
From 2017 to 2018 Stanly County had a 69% increase in overdoses. After taking office in 2018 to mid-year of 2021 our county’s overdose rate decreased by 29.8% and the overdose fatality rate saw a 1.2% decrease.

During that same period, North Carolina as a whole saw a 50.4% increase in overdoses and a 29.6% increase in overdose fatality rate.
From January 2019 to July 2022, the narcotics division seized over 145 pounds of controlled substances having a total street value of over $4.5 million. The bulk of those controlled substances consisted of heroin, methamphetamines and fentanyl. Not until recently have we seen an increase in cocaine.

We will continue to aggressively pursue those selling deadly opioids in the same manner as we have for the past four years.

5. Aside from the opioid epidemic, what other issues would you focus on if you got elected/re-elected?

Crisco: The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office has worked extremely hard to get control of the crime rate and the opioid epidemic that our county has faced.

We will continue to focus our efforts on those individuals that sell drugs and break into our homes and businesses.

We will continue to build partnerships with our community and schools.

We are ensuring that our deputies receive the latest up to date and specialized training to better serve our community.