DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper has appointed Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead to his crime commission.

Birkhead will serve on the Criminal Justice Improvement Committee.

Birkhead, who has 38 years of experience, is a Shaw graduate who began his career with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, was the police chief for the Duke University Public Safety Department and the Hillsborough police chief, and has served as the sheriff in Durham County since 2018.

The CJI Committee that Birkhead is assigned to approves priorities and reviews applications for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Once a grant review process is completed, the recommendations are forwarded to the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety for review and then to the Governor for final approval.

“I am again humbled by Gov. Cooper’s appointment and will be honored to serve and represent Durham County in this way,” Birkhead said. “This statewide appointment means we have a great opportunity to make our community better by having a seat at the table to effect change. Looking at the larger picture, this appointment also gives us a chance to help innovate and reform the criminal justice system.”