It was a small group of 13 that showed for the sheriff’s ninth town hall Thursday night, but they brought with them the same support and questions that have marked the previous meetings.
Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller began the meeting as he did the previous eight, explaining the structure of the sheriff’s office and introducing his command staff and their responsibilities.
Miller explained the major problems facing the county this year, including 10 homicides investigated by the sheriff’s office — nine of which he said have been solved — and the many residents addicted to drugs and the accompanying crimes they commit to keep up their habit.
Maj. Chris Thomas addressed some of the most common crimes the sheriff’s office investigates, including phone scams and car break-ins.
Keep your doors locked, Thomas recommended, because thieves walk through neighborhoods checking doors and when they find one unlocked, they rifle through and take what they find.
Another tip given was to snap photos of the serial numbers on prized possessions in case of a robbery, that way it’s easier for law enforcement to return stolen items when they find them.
When the floor was opened to questions, one man raised a concerned about the person answering calls in the office.
He said he was told he couldn’t speak with a detective until Monday, that the person answering the phone was the only one in the office. The command staff assured him it would be looked into.
There is always someone working, Thomas said, and if someone claims there isn’t, Thomas said to ask for him and he’ll make sure someone is found.
The man began and ended his remarks thanking the sheriff’s office for their service and hard work, especially in the face of recent national events that brought negativity and danger to their profession.
“You’re to be commended for even staying on the job,” he said.