WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) — When severe weather hits, different agencies often work together to direct traffic and close off roads.
But according to documents shared with CBS 17, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office recently denied such requests.
A June storm flooded or damaged more than a dozen roads in Wake County. Areas like Zebulon, Wake Forest and Youngsville were all hit hard.
At that time, CBS 17 learned of complaints the Wake County Sheriff’s Office denied requests from some of the nearby departments to help.
On June 10th (two days after the storm), CBS 17 emailed the sheriff’s office asking about those request denials.
A spokesperson responded saying the department had no knowledge of requests being denied.
David Blackwelder, a candidate for Wake sheriff and a critic of Wake’s current Sheriff Gerald Baker, also heard about the denied requests.
He put in his own request for calls of service in the county during the storm back in June.
“You’re not only putting the agencies that need your help at risk, you’re putting the citizens at risk as well,” said Blackwelder.
From 8 a.m. to midnight, documents show the county received 107 calls for service. Those same records show 13 of the calls were to direct traffic and assist other agencies. Four of them were canceled after no one was sent.
“To me, if you have citizens that are in danger of potentially falling into the flood area or going into it or a downed tree, someone might not be paying attention because of the rain, there could be an accident,” said Blackwelder.
CBS 17 spoke to the sheriff’s office multiple times Friday for a chance to explain.
A sheriff’s spokesperson told us this is not a story.
He added since Blackwelder is running for sheriff, they’re also not going to comment.
“It’s kind of par for the course,” said Blackwelder. “He ran on transparency and he’s not being very transparent.”
Blackwelder is running for sheriff, however, there is no election for the sheriff’s office until 2022.
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