RAEFORD, N.C. (WNCN) – The new sheriff of Hoke County was sworn in at noon Friday.

Roderick Virgil took the oath of office at the Robert Wright Agriculture Building, located on East Palmer Street.

Virgil will serve the remainder of Sheriff Hubert Peterkin’s term. Peterkin served as sheriff for nearly 20 years.

Peterkin passed away in October following complications during surgery after a battle with cancer.

Hundreds of friends, family, and fellow officers showed up from across North Carolina to honor the life and legacy of Peterkin when he was laid to rest on Oct. 29.

Dozens of deputies and sheriffs from counties far and wide arrived to pay respects at Peterkin’s public viewing and funeral.

Edward James McMahon, president of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, said Peterkin was a mentor to all who would listen.

“Small county but a big man,” McMahon said. “We all loved him and looked up to him. He was just a wonderful man.”

New Sheriff Roderick Virgil released the following statement ahead of Friday’s ceremony:

“I am honored that the Commissioners of Hoke County have appointed me to serve out the remainder of the current term resulting from the untimely demise of Sheriff Peterkin. As Sheriff, it is incumbent upon me to make decisions which, in my discretion, I believe to be appropriate for the Office of the Sheriff and for the discharge of the duties of the Sheriff of Hoke County. I am very excited to serve our community and will be prepared to launch my campaign for the 2022-2026 term for Sheriff of Hoke County.

I am very proud to be a part of a great support system. I look forward to working together with all my colleagues for the betterment of Hoke County.”

Roderick Virgil