Sheriff Michael D. Andrews
1. How would you collaborate and/or cooperate with the city in coordinated law
Sheriff Michael D. Andrews
program aimed at educating young people about the consequences of engaging in
Sheriff Michael D. Andrews
situations. This process would impose a requirement to appear in court, but would no...
Sheriff Michael D. Andrews
advancements, I continually endeavor to maintain a progressive posture and respond t...
Sheriff Michael D. Andrews
My parents taught responsibility, hard work, and compassion. I attempt daily in hono...
Michael D. Andrews
Sheriff Mike Andrews has 34 years of experience with the Durham County
Sheriff’s Office. He has...
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Michael Andrews 2014 PA-PAC Questionnaire


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Michael D. Andrews, candidate for Durham County Sheriff, 2014 People's Alliance PAC questionnaire

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Michael Andrews 2014 PA-PAC Questionnaire

  1. 1. Sheriff Michael D. Andrews   1   1. How would you collaborate and/or cooperate with the city in coordinated law enforcement? Since 1999 when I assumed the post of Major of the Operations Division, I have fostered a productive working relationship with local law enforcement. Many of the City’s police officers that I developed a rapport with early in my career are now leaders in that agency. As Sheriff, I have worked hard to maintain a strong connection with those leaders and other members of the Durham Police Department. Specifically, the Sheriff’s Office regularly shares criminal intelligence, which seeks to prevent crime and protect Durham’s citizens. Our agency also attends the City’s Crime Reduction Strategy meetings, which presents the ability to discuss crime and potential solutions with Mayor Bell, leaders of the Durham Police Department, and other stakeholders in the criminal justice community. I also regularly attend and participate in Durham’s Crime Cabinet meetings, bringing together diverse partners to address crime in Durham. Also, the Sheriff’s Office is exploring a joint initiative with the Durham Police Department aimed at combating impaired driving among youth through an innovative education initiative. In addition to a productive relationship with the Durham Police Department, we work closely with other law enforcement agencies, such as the Duke University Police Department, North Carolina Central University Police Department, and the State Bureau of Investigation. Our agency has also devoted resources to a Federal Bureau of Investigation task force. Further, the Sheriff’s Office participates in the Governor’s Highway Safety Program campaigns, such as Click it or Ticket and Booze It & Lose It. 2. What role do you think the Sheriff’s Office plays (or should play) in strengthening school safety? The Sheriff’s Office plays an active role in advancing school safety. In particular, I have staffed 14 schools with 17 School Resource Officers. We also have assigned a deputy who serves as a liaison between Durham Public Schools and law enforcement officers. This has facilitated substantive and constructive contact with students, teachers, school administrators, and parents. Additionally, the presence of deputies in the schools offers heightened safety. Our agency will continue to work with all stakeholders to protect our students and school personnel. Moreover, my wife has taught in Durham Public Schools for 30 years. Accordingly, I have a significant understanding of the work and safety concerns for those dedicated individuals who labor in educational facilities. 3. What role do you think the Sheriff’s Office plays (or should play) in gang prevention and reduction? Our substantial presence in local schools offers an unparalleled level of contact with students and parents. This enables us to identify potential criminal gang activity and address it quickly. The Sheriff’s Office also provides the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program, a classroom curriculum taught to fourth and sixth grade students in Durham Public Schools. Utilizing law enforcement officers as instructors, the G.R.E.A.T. program seeks to prevent delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. In addition to our efforts in the schools, I orchestrated the development of a
  2. 2. Sheriff Michael D. Andrews   2   program aimed at educating young people about the consequences of engaging in criminal activity. Focusing on youth ages 11-16, the Creating Healthy Opportunities Inspiring Children to Have Everyday Success (C.H.O.I.C.E.S.) program provides an interactive tour for youth through the arrest and booking process. The tour culminates with the Teen Summit, which facilitates open discussions with youth about the issues they face. With the assistance of Family Academic Mentoring Empowerment (F.A.M.E.), counselors provide parenting strategies and family mentoring. This initiative seeks to equip youth with essential skills necessary to support positive choices. Reducing criminal gang activity requires a community response that involves a diverse array of partners. Law enforcement is one component of that response. As Sheriff, I remain committed to contributing resources to this endeavor and joining with other stakeholders to prevent criminal gang activity. 4. What can be done to prevent proliferation of handguns? Steps should be taken to ensure that guns stay in the hands of law-abiding citizens. When that does not happen and gun related crime occurs, enforcement action should be swift and certain. As Sheriff, our agency has worked closely with other law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney to effectively enforce and prosecute gun related offenses. 5. What is your plan to improve security at Durham’s Court facilities, particularly in relationship to intimidation of witnesses and lack of respect to Court officers? The security at the new Durham County Judicial Center is much greater than the previous facility. Our agency concentrates on providing safety for the visitors and staff who conduct daily business at the Judicial Center. As Sheriff, I have assigned 33 deputies to focus solely on courthouse security. In addition to critical courtroom presence, these deputies monitor areas where defendants and witnesses gather, ensuring that the Durham County Judicial Center remains an environment where justice is realized in an orderly and respectful manner. Our deputies also maintain regular contact with other agencies housed at the Judicial Center in order to stay informed of potential security concerns. In an effort to enhance safety at the Judicial Center, I directed the creation of the Courthouse Response Team – a group of deputies with specialized training to effectively respond to courthouse emergencies. Since the Judicial Center opened in 2013, deputies have seized 2,200 weapons. 6. What is your position with regard to the provision of bail to defendants, in terms of how Court policies determine the number of prisoners? When an arrest is necessary, an appropriate bail amount should seek to protect the public and ensure defendants’ presence at court proceedings. Courts should be mindful of several factors, such as any prior failures to appear, the severity of the current charges, any criminal history, and defendants’ ties to the community. Bail amounts should not be arbitrary or used as punishment. We are also beginning discussions with our judges and magistrates to consider the issuance of criminal summons in lieu of arrest in appropriate
  3. 3. Sheriff Michael D. Andrews   3   situations. This process would impose a requirement to appear in court, but would not necessitate a bail, thereby reducing the financial impact of a criminal charge. 7. What additional resources does the Sheriff’s Office need that it does not currently have? The Sheriff’s Office needs additional resources to protect inmates with mental health issues at the Durham County Detention Facility. Specifically, I have begun to replace existing HVAC vents with suicide prevention vents, which reduce an inmate’s ability to tie a restraining device through vent openings. I am seeking additional funding in the coming fiscal year to broaden this effort by purchasing additional suicide prevention vents. Our agency is also in need of items that will enhance safety. In particular, I have requested funds to outfit additional deputies and detention officers with tasers to enhance our ability to avoid the use of deadly force. Also, I am seeking funds to acquire more in- car cameras, which will provide for greater transparency and an additional training instrument for deputies. The Sheriff’s Office is also striving to meet the new demands of the Animal Services Division, which our agency assumed control of in 2012. In 2013, calls for service related to animals exceeded 11,000, which strained existing resources. Thus, I am attempting to add deputy and telecommunicator positions to meet this demand. I am also requesting to recover positions that were lost in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. These positions would enhance our specialized law enforcement functions, such as truancy and elder abuse prevention efforts. Further, I am seeking to expand our Crisis Intervention Team (C.I.T.) program. This critical effort equips deputies and detention officers with tools to deescalate crisis situations and provides specialized training related to mental illness. 8. What are the best and worst things about the current administration of the Sheriff’s Office? I am proud to serve as Sheriff with an administration that has been willing to embrace new initiatives. Specifically, our agency has connected with citizens in innovative ways by developing a social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The agency has taken substantial steps toward implementing video visitation at the Detention Facility. We have worked to expand our efforts through the Project Lifesaver program, which enables deputies to locate and rescue citizens with cognitive disorders who are at risk of wandering. Our agency has strived to welcome new technology such as specialized software that analyzes and visualizes crime trends, allowing deputies to make optimal use of enforcement resources. The Sheriff’s Office has also sought to remain connected with Durham’s citizens through outreach efforts, such as the C.H.O.I.C.E.S. program and National Night Out events. While the Sheriff’s Office has made significant
  4. 4. Sheriff Michael D. Andrews   4   advancements, I continually endeavor to maintain a progressive posture and respond to the ever-changing environment of law enforcement and detention services. 9. What is your position on the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect North Carolina health care consumers and the medical care system? Everyone should have access to affordable health care. 10. What are your views on the rights (including whether any such rights exist) of homosexual persons to marry? Did you vote for or against Amendment One? In my capacity as Sheriff, employment decisions, investigative efforts, and enforcement actions are conducted without regard to sexual orientation. As a public servant, I respect the rights of all individuals and strive to protect every citizen and visitor of Durham. 11. Are you conservative or liberal? Please choose one and then explain your answer. I characterize myself as a moderate. I strive to critically evaluate issues and reach a conclusion based on facts. This allows me to consider diverse perspectives, objectively assess situations, and make thoughtful decisions. 12. Please describe how your religious and philosophical beliefs may affect your conduct and decision making if you are elected. My beliefs are greatly centered around the way I was raised with three sisters. My mom and dad had a small farm on Wake Forest Highway where I grew up. We moved there when I was around nine years old. We learned how to raise a garden, work in the garden, and have food for the winter. My father loved animals. We had horses, cows, and Shetland ponies. We nurtured, fed and yes, located these pets when they would someway find their way out of a fenced area. Locating or finding an animal and then getting it back to an enclosed pasture was a chore in itself, but the job did not get done unless you did it. Our parents worked hard to provide for us and sometimes worked overtime or multiple jobs. We understood and experienced responsibility. We understood going to church and showing and displaying care and compassion for others. Both our mom and dad exemplified this. My father owned and operated a small café in East Durham for 35 years and I helped do many things, from washing dishes to waiting tables and preparing food. My father was a conversational person and loved speaking with everyone he encountered. We all had many conversations with great people who visited Andrews Kountry Kitchen. I learned the value of helping those that did not have anything and to go the extra mile. I also learned that there are not any free things in life, but it did not cost a nickel to be good to people.
  5. 5. Sheriff Michael D. Andrews   5   My parents taught responsibility, hard work, and compassion. I attempt daily in honor of my parents to show compassion for someone. There are many things I am blessed with but I will never forget where and how I was raised. 13. Where were you born and where have you lived? I was born in Durham and have lived here my entire life. I have “lived” at the Sheriff’s Office since I was 20 years old and I will be 56 this year. 14. Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense (such as speeding)? If the answer is yes, please describe the circumstances and the outcome. No. 15. Who did you vote for in the 2008 and 2012 presidential and gubernatorial elections? I have supported Republican and Democratic candidates. I consider candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and strive to support the person best suited to serve the public with fairness, integrity, and honor. As Sheriff, I am not a partisan individual when it comes to making decisions that I feel are correct for this community. I have the opportunity to meet and speak with many officials on my concerns for Durham. I reach across the aisles to many who represent all political groups.
  6. 6. Michael D. Andrews Sheriff Sheriff Mike Andrews has 34 years of experience with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. He has served in Investigations, Training, and the Patrol Division. Additional duties during his tenure with Sheriff’s Office include the Emergency Response Team and the Search and Recovery Team. He has served as a General Instructor and Specialized Instructor for the agency and new recruits in Basic Law Enforcement Training. Sheriff Andrews has received leadership and supervision training through the Law Enforcement Executive Program offered by North Carolina State University and the Institute of Government. He is also a graduate of Carolina Command College, hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sheriff Andrews is a graduate (March 2002) of the 208th session FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In addition, Sheriff Andrews has an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the State of North Carolina. As Sheriff, he is currently responsible for administration of agency-wide operations.