To serve and provide a crime-free and safe environment through strategic policing efforts to ALL residents within the county.
To embody professionalism, integrity, commitment, diligence and perseverance in the performance of our duties each day as public servants committed to excellence and leadership.
The primary mission of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office is to serve and protect our citizens by working cooperatively with our public and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the enforcement of laws as set forth in the framework of the U.S. Constitution. To gain and strengthen our public’s confidence in our organization through developing and maintaining positive public relationships to promote safe communities throughout our county.
Vision, Values & Mission statements mean very little if they aren’t acted upon. Sheriff Wilkins takes these to heart and is actively working towards these goals. Below you will find Programs that bring positive change to our home:
- “Badges & Bibles” – This program brings our churches and deputies together to better serve each individual community. Deputies are linked with area Pastors in an effort to reach our citizens through Christian communication and together reach out to troubled youth in an attempt to bring them into the church family and get them on the right track to becoming productive citizens. Pastor Jimmy Hunt is in charge of this program.
- Social Media Releases (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) These programs are set up as a way to communicate real time to communities throughout the county and will relay any information as it relates to crimes and other criminal activity. Photos of suspects and videos from surveillance systems would be made available for the citizenry quickly. Social media sources would also be used in such emergencies as with Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 when Burnis utilized his longtime personal Facebook Page and Twitter to keep all citizens abreast of conditions and all support during the storm and beyond. He assisted many residents and agencies with obtaining much needed supplies and in many cases made the deliveries himself. He was credited by thousands countywide as being the trustworthy source for information due to residents having no power for several days thereby causing residents to monitor their social media accounts via cell phones. This has been an effective tool for fighting crime while Burnis served as a City Councilman and has led to numerous arrests throughout Robeson County. Communication is the key to keep the community informed thereby helping with reducing and/or eliminating crime infested areas.
- “Expanded Community Watch” – This program expands on what is already in place. Assigned Zone Deputies are responsible for the announcements of upcoming community watches that are to be held routinely and not just when there is a rash of crimes in a particular area. Participants will be provided with crime stats as they pertain to their particular area. This plan has proven very effective as Burnis led the county’s largest community watch group in the Godwin Heights Community in Lumberton maintaining a roster of 40-50 residents in attendance each month. Burnis used his group to help “Rid the community of Crime & Grime.”
- “Community Emergency Response Team” (CERT) – This program will be implemented in specific areas of the county in which citizens would be trained by certified FEMA Instructors. This training will be delivered in a classroom setting and will utilize realistic scenarios. These volunteer graduates will then have the equipment and knowledge to assist the sheriff’s office and the County Emergency Services Office with situations such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
- “Citizens Academy” – This program will be an 8 week orientation to interested volunteer citizens that are willing to assist the sheriff’s office during times of need to include but not limited to directing traffic at events, conducting citizens patrols and work in partnership with expanded community watch groups and be support for deputies and civilian personnel during crisis.
- “Kid Cadets” – This program will target children ages 13-17 and introduce them into the world of law enforcement. The Kid Cadet will be paired with a deputy or Detention Officer and shown the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer. This is a way to get kids interested early in a rewarding career serving the public.
- “Kops & Kids” – This program will pair deputies and/or detention personnel with youth to serve as long term mentors. Burnis will seek partnership with school counselors and parents to identify those students that are in need of an adult role model more so than others. Reaching our youth at an early age is paramount in steering them on the right path of success.
- “Inmate Labor” – Utilize inmate labor to assist with maintenance and routine care of county facilities and grounds under direct supervision of specialized Detention Officers.
- “Nuisance Abatement” – This program utilizing specifically trained deputies targets problem homes, rental properties and real property that is being utilized for the purpose of illegal drug sales and/or distribution or storage and other nuisance violations as described by law. Burnis recognizes the need to collaborate with state and federal partners in such a way to investigate and seek the seizer of the aforementioned properties. Sheriff Wilkins has experience in this field as he has utilized this procedure to seize property in the Raft Swamp community and also to close down problem ABC Bars, clubs and restaurants across the state. A similar procedure was utilized to close and remove the Roberts Avenue Mobile Home Park in Lumberton shortly after Burnis was elected City Councilman in 2013.
- Sheriff Sponsored Family Fun Day – As Sheriff of Robeson County, Burnis feels this position should be utilized in bringing communities together with family and friends and of course the kids to allow for a fun day with Deputies and others. These events will be a collaborative effort with each district County Commissioner, volunteer rescue units and volunteer fire departments and will assist with the overall approach of Community Policing.
These are just a few programs that Burnis has already started to implement one at a time, that he believes will benefit the citizens of Robeson County.