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The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association recognizes Representative Shelly Willingham with Defender of Public Safety Award

Raleigh, NC --- The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) has recognized Representative Shelly Willingham as a 2023 Defender of Public Safety for the important work done during the 2023 legislative session to protect public safety in North Carolina.


During a session which saw a heavy concentration of law enforcement and public safety related

bills, Representative Willingham dedicated time and effort during the session advocating for law

enforcement issues important to the Association which impact the office of sheriff, local

communities and the State.


“Representative Willingham has been a valuable partner in the recent legislative session,

supporting the legislative priorities of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association which is a voice for all 100 sheriffs in the State,” said Sheriff Darren Campbell, President of the Association. “As a result, our sheriffs have new tools we can use to protect our communities such as new laws

intended to protect our electric power grid, stop dangerous street takeovers by motor vehicle

gangs and some which will allow us to better address the growing fentanyl crisis many of us see

in our communities. We are better equipped today than we were yesterday to protect the lives,

liberties, and property of North Carolina’s citizens.”


Representative Willingham’s legislative district is served by: Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin, Bertie County, Sheriff Cleveland "Clee" Atkinson, Edgecombe County and Sheriff Tim Manning, Martin County.


During the 2023 legislative session, the General Assembly considered hundreds of bills and

enacted dozens of laws that had a direct impact on law enforcement and public safety in North

Carolina. The 2024 session is expected to begin in April and will likely see many additional law

enforcement and public safety related bills.


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