Lenoir County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff's Office
Lenoir County Courthouse
130 S. Queen St.
PO BOX 3289
Kinston, NC 28501

Phone: 252-559-6100



Sheriff Chris Hill

History of the Sheriff

There is no single date for the beginning of the first Sheriff.  The position of Sheriff evolved over a period as the kingdom was "shired" into compact administrative units. The King James Version of the Holy Bible first mentions Sheriffs in the book of Daniel 3:2-3. Deputies are mentioned again in the New Testament. At that time, the Sheriffs were called on to put down a public riot. While it may not be clear what all the functions of the Sheriff were, it is evident that the Sheriffs were respected men, who had vested power from the King and authority to keep the peace.

In the Ninth and Tenth Centuries, the role and importance of the Sheriffs became more obvious. The whole constitutional, economical, judicial and administrative development was dependent on the office of the High Sheriff. The most ancient and longest continuous service to the Realm and the Crown is the office of High Sheriff. The Sheriff was Chancellor, home secretary, Secretary of State for Defense, and Minister of Agriculture. There were no police, no judges, not even magistrates, no inland revenue, no customs and excise. The Sheriff supervised everything on behalf of the King.

There are many thousands of sheriffs in the United States and Canada. Sheriffs in Australia, New Zealand, and India too, all owe their origins to King Alfred and Canute. The history of the American Sheriff began in 1634 when the settlements of Virginia were well established to allow for the replacement of the military regime by a civil government. The scattered settlements and plantations had been formed into shires on the English pattern, and the most important aspect of the American Sheriff’s office was his responsibility for keeping the peace. Today, the sheriff is firmly entrenched in the constitution of the various states.

The American Sheriff, an elected office of the people, functions much differently from the Sheriff who was appointed by the King. As you would expect, the American Settlers desired a Sheriff who served at their pleasure and not at the King’s pleasure. That is why the Sheriff today is an elected office of the people.

Although the American Sheriff may not have the same responsibilities as did the early King appointed Sheriff, he still holds the People’s Chief Law Enforcement Office in the County, in which he is elected. His duties are more than just Law Enforcement (peace keeper) or to enforce orders of the court.

One can understand now why the Sheriff’s Office is called, THE PUBLIC SERVICE OFFICE OF THE PEOPLE.

The Organization


The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for providing law enforcement within Lenoir County which encompasses a 480 square mile area.  The Sheriff’s Office also has a satellite division located in the town of LaGrange. In addition to the many services the Sheriff’s Office provides the Sheriff has a team of volunteers who call the elderly once a day to check on their well being.


The Sheriff’s Office is a 128 member office consisting of:

  • 67 sworn officers
  • 55 detention officers
  •   6 administrative support staff
  •   1 volunteer chaplain. 

The office boasts an array of assets to accomplish its duties such as:

  • A boat for water related search, rescue, recovery, and law enforcement
  • An impressive and well equipped mobile command center which is capable of providing communications & planning for Fire, EMS, and Sheriff’s deputies anywhere it is needed.
  • Four wheel ATV’s for search, rescue, and recovery.
  • Special Response Team (SRT) vehicle for transporting SRT members and equipment to and from critical incidents.
  • Three canine animals that are trained to track fleeing suspects or missing persons, protection, and to search for and detect the presence of narcotics.
  • Drug Terminator (portable incinerator) for narcotics destruction


State of the art technology is fully integrated at the Sheriff’s Office which includes:

  • ‘Checkout’ barcoding system to track the movement of court documents
  • ‘EvidenceTrac’ barcoding system to track the movement of evidence
  • ‘AFIX’ fingerprinting system which identifies fingerprints left behind at crime scenes, and identifies people entering and exiting the detention center.
  • Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) in patrol vehicles that have a wireless connection to the internet, which will access various web based databases.
  • Field Based Reporting system which allows officers to complete and transmit incident reports to the Sheriff’s Office from the field, using their MDT’s.
  • Online crime mapping which allows the Sheriff’s Office and the public to access daily crime type and location via the internet.  click HERE
  • Digital in-car cameras which record audio and video footage from patrol vehicles
  • Web Link to leave anonymous crime tips using this website.  click HERE

Detention Facility
 The Sheriff’s Office operates a detention facility consisting of two separate jails both located on the grounds of the Lenoir County Courthouse. This facility receives approximately 4,500 people per year. The total bed space for the entire detention facility is 285 beds.

Special Response Team (SRT) 

Finally, the Sheriff’s Office has a highly trained team of special response deputies who typically handle critical high-risk incidents involving armed suspects.  These deputies are members of the office who already have assigned duties.  SRT members are provided with an array of short and long range weaponry, personal protection, and night vision equipment to accomplish their mission.     

Sheriff's Office Directory


Phone Number
Emergency 9-1-1
Sheriff 559-6102
Chief of Administration 559-6101
Chief of Enforcement 559-6105
Lenoir County Jail 559-6100
Sheriff Office (non-emergency) 559-6100
Records Section 559-6106
Warrants Section 559-6121
Support Services 559-6104
Detective Division 559-6112
Detective Secretary 559-6140


Other State/Local Offices


Phone Number
Drivers License Office 522-4323
License Tags 523-5292
Probation 526.4520
Highway Patrol 522-1511
Kinston Dept. of Public Safety. 939-3160
Health Dept. 527-4200

Concealed Handgun Registry

North Carolina is a “shall-issue” carry concealed weapon (CCW) permit state. As such, any citizen who applies and qualifies under the N.C. state statutes to obtain a concealed handgun permit shall be issued a concealed handgun permit. After completing the 8-hour Firearms Safety course a citizen may bring his/her certificate to the Sheriff's Office and fill out the application for a CCW permit. The Sheriff's Office is then responsible for fingerprinting and performing a criminal history background check. As part of the background investigation the citizen must sign a release form allowing the Sheriff’s Office to access any mental health records that may be available. Upon completion of the background investigation, the Sheriff will then approve or disapprove the permit application based upon the findings of the background investigation. The Sheriff's Office is then responsible for submitting a copy of the application to the SBI. When all is approved the Sheriff's Office receives the CCW permit from the state who will then notify the applicant to pick up his CCW permit. There is a fee charged for a concealed weapon permit. The average waiting period is 45 days.

.Pistol Permits

The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for issuing all pistol permits in the county. Pistol permits allow a citizen to purchase or obtain a firearm from a retailer or other person. This is done by simply having a citizen fill out the appropriate application. Our records division then accesses the applicant’s criminal history and driver’s history through DCI (Division of Criminal Information) computer system. In order to be approved for a pistol permit you cannot have been convicted of any felony or certain misdemeanors. You cannot have any history of mental illness or domestic violence. Pistol permits are issued at the Sheriff's Office and a copy is kept on file along with the application. Average wait is 5 to 7 days, depending on weekends and holidays. Click HERE for handgun laws in other states.

Domestic Violence

Any time a judge orders that he/she has been a victim of domestic violence it is the responsibility of the sheriff’s office to serve the domestic violence protective order on the defendant. The protective order is entered into the DCI computer system, which is accessible to all law enforcement, for the protection of the victim. It is the responsibility of law enforcement to enforce the judge's orders.

"SAVAN" Statewide Automated Victim Assistance & Notification

SAVAN was created to allow victim’s of crime notification of an offenders release from DOC/jail. The system is maintained at the local sheriff’s office and is accessible to the public by dialing 1-877-627-2826 (1-877-NC-SAVAN) or access can be made at www.ncsavan.org. Victims can call any time to check the status of their offender. SAVAN also allows victims to register for automated notification. Once a victim registers, SAVAN will link the victim’s phone number to the offender’s case file. When any information is entered into a criminal justice computer about an offender (e.g. release, escape, transfer) SAVAN will automatically call the victim.

This service is provided by the Governor’s Crime Commission a part of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. To visit the NC SAVAN site, click HERE.

Deputy Sheriff as a Career?

The requirements for the field of Law Enforcement vary, depending on which branch you enter. As with the military there are different fields each having their own special and unique qualities. For example, each law enforcement section, whether it be the SBI, ATF, or Probation and Parole, needs the assistance and cooperation of the County Sheriff.

The county sheriff is the highest law enforcement official  and is responsible for a wide variety of duties in the county. The county sheriff is responsible for law enforcement throughout the county as well as courtroom security, service of civil and criminal papers, and the operation of the detention facility. Deputy Sheriffs are also school resource officers and juvenile officers. They are Special Response Team members trained to be highly skilled and work in very dangerous operations. They are also detectives, narcotics officers, canine officers, and patrol deputies.

To be a Deputy Sheriff is to be an honest person who can change his "hat,” so to speak, whenever needed. The sheriff’s office is responsible for the safety of each of the citizens living in its county.  Deputy Sheriffs are held to a high degree of professionalism. 

Job Requirements
Citizen of the United States
21 Years of Age / NC Drivers License
High School Graduate or GED equivalent
Pass Drug Screen/Med Exam/ Computerized Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA)
Must be of Good Moral Character
Have not been convicted or committed any crime(s) as specified in
12 NCAC 09B .0111

Residency requirements:  Deputies must reside within 20 miles of any Lenoir County boarder.  Detention officers are not held to this standard.

Basic Law Enforcement Training – 618 hrs minimum or 16 weeks, required within 1 year of employment.  

Detention Officer
Jailer Certification Training - 162hrs (minimum), required within 1 year of employment.

Medcost / Hospitalization / Dental / 401K Retirement / Life Insurance
Shift Differential / Longevity pay after 5 years of service / Christmas Bonus

Vacation/Sick Time
Vacation leave is accrued based upon years of service (8 hrs per month minimum), 8 hrs per month sick leave

Sheriff Related Links
Online Crime Mapping
Sexual Offender Registry
Gun Laws In Other States


130 South Queen Street | Post Office Box 3289 Kinston, NC 28502
Phone: (252) 559-6450 Fax: (252) 559-6454