As this year slowly draws to a close, it is only appropriate we take time to gather with our families and friends to remember and rejoice for the blessings we have received this year.

As sheriff, I consider all of the deputies, and detention officers with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, members of my family as well.

Our agency recently took time to gather together at our Sixth Annual Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Employee Appreciation Dinner, which was held in Mooresville.

More than 425 people, consisting of staff and their families, came together to fellowship, eat, and join together in this celebration. I feel it is very important for the morale of our employees to come together, to be honored and recognized for the duties they perform throughout the year. It also is a wonderful time to give recognition for career and professional achievement.

This year we honored several deputies and detention officers with various awards and certificates.

Deputies Travis Lewis, Lt. Ricky Adams, Deputy Brian Whitlow, Deputy Dallas Hicks, Deputy Steven Donaldson, Detention Officer Ann Gentle and Detention Officer Gary Mayhorn received their Advanced Training Certificates from the North Carolina Sheriff’s Education and Training Standards Commission. This award marks a high point in these deputies professional training. This award is a very high achievement in law enforcement, and recognizes years of service, and training received.

Lt. Matt Burleyson was given a Life Saving Award. This award stemmed from an incident in Mooresville on April 10, 2019. Lt. Burleyson was on vehicle patrol and he was approached by a woman holding a lifeless infant. She yelled for his help. Lt. Burleyson performed CPR on the infant, who was unresponsive. His efforts were successful, the child was revived and it was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The child recovered, and was released from medical care.

Detention Officer Brian Cashion was awarded with an Individual Commendation for his detention work. Lt. Gerry Toney was awarded an Individual Commendation for his enforcement efforts. Stephanie Austin received an Individual Commendation as a Civilian Employee.

SRO Sgt. Gina Cranford earned a Merit Award for outstanding service under unusual or difficult conditions. Sgt. Mike Benfield was given an Award of Distinction for outstanding performance of duties which bring unusual credit to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. The members of the Narcotics Unit received a Unit Commendation for Outstanding Service.

The high point of the Awards Service was when Sgt. Dominic Landis was awarded the Bill Wood Award. This award is presented in honor of Sgt. Bill Wood who worked for the sheriff’s office. This award is based on “High standards of integrity by leading through example, and maintaining high professional standards, possessing good leadership skills and having a positive impact on those around them.” Members of Sgt. Wood’s family were in attendance to help present this award.

You may not know any of these deputies, but you have most likely passed them as they work around our great county. Those who received awards, and the rest of our staff work hard for the citizens of Iredell County every day. They are fine examples of integrity, and professionalism, in the field of law enforcement. I am thankful for them, and for what they do for us all here in Iredell County.

From my family, and my work family, we would like to extend to you the warmest of holiday wishes this year.

If I can assist you with any issue or you would like more information about the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, please call me at 704-878-3180 or email me at

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Darren Campbell is the Iredell County Sheriff.

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