NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been four months since the Nash County County Sheriff’s Office almost lost two deputies in the line of duty.
“It’s a very dangerous job,” said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone.
Deputies Shelby Smith and William Toney were injured while making a traffic stop on I-95 in February.
“That was a simple stop for a speeding violation,” said Stone.
Smith made the initial traffic stop, but called in a K-9 unit. Stone said the driver of the vehicle shot Toney, a K-9 handler, multiple times. Smith suffered other injuries. The suspect was also injured during the incident.
“One of them is back on duty, the other officer is still going through rehab,” said Stone.
The incident shook the deputies and the sheriff’s office.
“You never totally recover from a situation like this,” said Stone.
After a Wake County deputy was shot while serving an eviction notice on Wednesday, Stone said he sat down with his deputies who do that same job.
“You can imagine, they leave home, they’ve got families at home, they touch that doorknob and they might not ever touch it again,” he said of the dangers law enforcement face.
Captain Brandon Jenkins is head of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division, which serves civil papers such as eviction notices. Jenkins told CBS 17 it’s standard to have one deputy serve a notice, but doing that comes with risks.
He explained, “I’ve been doing this since 2005 and you’re going up to these evictions and you basically go up there and take their home away and having to evict the house and you don’t know their mindset.”
He added, “If we know we’re going to serve somebody we dealt with in the past, we’ll bring in a lot of people. But some of these people, you ain’t never seen before, you don’t know their mental state or what you’re getting.”
While North Carolina has an eviction moratorium in place until the end of June, Jenkins says some people can still be evicted for not filing the correct paperwork with the CDC. When the moratorium ends, he expects the situation to worsen.
“Talking with a lot of our landlords around the county, we’re probably gonna have 500-600 evictions coming up in the next couple months,” he said