Lincolnton Police Department Lt. Jason Munday, a candidate for the 2018 election of a new Lincoln County sheriff, will be taking another one of Lincolnton’s finest with him if he’s elected.
Munday, a Republican, announced on Monday that Det. Brent Heavner will follow him to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to serve as chief deputy. Heavner, who’s been working with the Lincolnton Police Department for nearly a decade, has served in law enforcement for approximately 25 years.
“I think it’s important that Lincoln County knows where I stand on all issues facing the citizens as it relates to the sheriff’s office,” Munday said in a press release. “One of the most important decisions a sheriff can make is choosing his chief deputy. I’ve looked at several different possibilities for this position and, ultimately, I wanted someone that is experienced, professional, educated and passionate about law enforcement who shows a true love for Lincoln County.”
Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter, a Republican who is in his second term, has announced that he will not seek re-election.
In an interview with the Times-News last week, Munday shared his aspirations to crack down on online criminals who prey on children and the elderly. Heavner is responsible for a Lincolnton Police Department sting operation that has netted nearly 50 child predators soliciting sex online in the past two years.
Heavner was recently sworn in as a task force officer for the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. As a result, he has jurisdiction across the entire United States as it relates to crimes against children. Heavner is also a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force commanded by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
“Heavner’s expertise in online sex predator operations has shown the need for a stronger focus on such crimes,” Munday said. “An agency such as the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office could allow for additional resources and manpower devoted to those crimes. If elected, I declare that the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will develop a unit within the criminal investigations division to proactively protect children against online predators, sextortion, exploitation and human trafficking. Heavner’s training, experience and education make him essential in the startup of such a unit.”
In his press release, Munday challenged all other candidates and future candidates to announce their choice for chief deputy as an act of transparency. He also said that, many times in races for sheriff, a candidate’s choice for chief deputy is based on political influence.
Bill Beam, a Republican who announced his candidacy for sheriff last week, told the Times-News that he does not intend to announce his choice for chief deputy prior to the election. Instead, if elected, Beam said he will likely promote his chief deputy from within after a rigorous evaluation of the officers in house when he’s elected.
“In my opinion, that’s not something that can be done until you’ve actually got the job,” said Beam, who was a career Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputy and is currently the chairman of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. “I would have to do a very thorough evaluation of the agency before I could make a decision of that magnitude. It’s something that would likely require a very lengthy process.”
In addition to Munday and Beam, Lincolnton street preacher Alan Hoyle has also filed paperwork to launch a campaign. Hoyle, a 23-year veteran of the Marine Corps, plans to run without party affiliation and, therefore, will need a petition signed by 4 percent of the registered voters in Lincoln County to get his name on the ballot as an independent candidate.
“I attempted to get a couple of others who I thought would adhere to the Constitution to run for this office, but they declined,” Hoyle said. “It’s now come to the point where I’ve realized that it’s apparently my calling to run for sheriff and protect the Constitution which I was sworn to do during my 23 years in the Marines.”
Hoyle was found guilty of stalking a relative in 2014 by a Lincoln County district court judge. The misdemeanor stalking charge landed him in jail for two weeks. Hoyle has since appealed the conviction to Superior Court, but his case has not yet been heard.
“I have not been duly convicted of that,” Hoyle said. “My arrest and bond were unconstitutional and it’s unconstitutional that I’m still waiting for my jury trial. Since that time, I still have not had my right to a trial by jury, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, and it’s sickening that this has gone on this long. I have not been formally convicted by a jury of my peers.”
The party primary election for Lincoln County sheriff will be held on May 18, 2018 with the general election to follow on Nov. 6.