Monday, June 17, 2024

Brunswick sheriff resigning after 15 years

Sheriff John Ingram will retire April 30. (Port City Daily/File)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — After almost two decades leading the sheriff’s office in Brunswick County, John Ingram announced his retirement Friday.

His last day will be April 30.

ALSO: Health director leaves NHC for Brunswick County

Ingram, who was re-elected sheriff in 2022 and ran unopposed, has been in law enforcement for 30 years.

“It’s time for me to take a new path with less stress and commitment,” he wrote in a statement posted on the sheriff’s office’s social media. “My wife, Michelle, has sacrificed so much and poured her heart into our service as well.”

Ingram stated he is putting family front and center and spending time with friends. He also asked for the community’s support in appointing Brian Chism, chief deputy, as the next sheriff.

He is a grounded man with a strong passion for service,” Ingram said. “He has a commendable career, and if given the opportunity, will serve you faithfully and admirably as Sheriff.”

The retiring sheriff was born in Ash in Brunswick County and began working in law enforcement in 1991. He entered the force as a patrol deputy before moving up to detective and then becoming lieutenant in the narcotics division, therein also serving as SWAT team commander.

In 2008, Ingram took the oath as sheriff.

Brunswick County was on its way to becoming the fastest growing in the state, something on Ingram’s radar during last year’s spring primary elections. He told Port City Daily that bringing in “additional deputies, 911 telecommunicators and Detention Officers to accommodate that growth is crucial to the safety” in Brunswick.

He praised the local board of commissioners for working closely to properly staff law enforcement throughout the county and schools.

The sheriff, who served on the board of directors with the National Sheriff’s Association and was president of the state association, was also vocal in providing competitive compensation for emergency service positions. Commissioners supported a $9.78-million increase for county employees last year.

“This is imperative for recruiting the brightest and the best,” Ingram told PCD last spring.

During his tenure, the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy began, which led to the creation of Sheriff’s Volunteer Program. In 2017 The Anchor Initiative launched to combat the growing opioid crisis and has served more than 450 people.

Ingram said during 2022’s primaries “we have been fighting the wrong war,” stating the focus should be on addiction over drugs.

“So the approach to addressing the opioid crises isn’t necessarily from a law enforcement perspective, it’s from a mental health perspective,” he stated. “The Anchor assists those who are ready for treatment, break through the barriers that often keep them from seeking help; money, transportation and lack of knowledge of treatment options. That said, we continue to aggressively go after those criminals who continue to prey on those suffering from addiction and distribute drugs in our community.”

In his retirement letter, Ingram mentioned Brunswick’s tight-knit and united community remains inspiring. It’s a place he has been “honored” to serve, he added.

“Although our county faces many of the same issues as others throughout this great state and country, we are blessed to have such a generous and responsive community,” he wrote. “We have citizens who are eager to work together to solve the issues at hand, coupled with generous hearts ready to help their neighbors whenever the need arises.”

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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