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Sheriff’s office promotes two

Two Isle of Wight County law enforcement veterans are in new leadership roles with the sheriff’s office.

Tommy Potter is now captain of the operations division, and Sharon Morgan is now the lieutenant overseeing the office’s investigations division. Potter formerly held the rank of lieutenant and Morgan was a sergeant. Their promotions were effective Sept. 1.

“Operationally, anything that happens within the sheriff’s office, whether it’s policies, budgetary issues and basically supporting each one of the different divisions is what my responsibility would be,” said Potter. The investigations unit handles all major crimes in the county. Morgan also oversees property and evidence operations.

The divisions under his supervision are investigations — now led by Morgan — patrol and court services, which are also overseen by lieutenants.

“I will work with each one of those lieutenants to make sure they have manpower and resources and support that they need to get their jobs done, everyday, so they can continue to serve the people here in Isle of Wight County,” Potter said.

Morgan is an Isle of Wight native who has spent her 15-year law enforcement career close to home.

“Isle of Wight is a great place to live, it’s a great place to work,” she said. “Some people don’t like to work in the same county or city that they live, but I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

Potter, a North Carolina native, has been in law enforcement for 25 years. He’s been with Isle of Wight more than 12 years.

“I can say in my tenure here, there has not been a day that I woke up in the morning and said ‘I don’t want to go to work today.’ We have good, forward-thinking leadership here,” Potter said.

“We have deputies, some of them born and raised here, like Lt. Morgan,” he continued. “We have people who aren’t from here but I think when they come here, they mesh into our Isle of Wight family very quickly.”

Morgan echoed that sentiment.

“We do work well as a family and everybody is close, especially back here, we only have about five investigators,” she said. “We work well with everyone else, but (in investigations) we’re really close all day long. And when we go out and do something, the other person knows that the other one has their back.”

Potter said he and Morgan are humbled and honored to serve in their new roles. Both credit Sheriff James Clarke for creating a professional environment where people see their colleagues as family, and everyone is treated with respect.

About 70 people work under the authority of the sheriff’s office, including sworn deputies, animal control personnel and civilian support staff. Potter also said Isle of Wight has strong, positive relationships with neighboring police agencies.

Potter and Morgan acknowledged there’s a lot of attention on law enforcement and calls for reform right now, and in their new leadership positions, they will play a key role in shaping how people perceive and interact with their local police.

One way they can do that, he said, is “we need to look at the facts surrounding some of the issues going on around the country and we need to look to see how we are prepared here, how our officers interact with our citizens every day.”

“For our people that come to work here,” Potter continued, “this is not just a job they come to everyday, where they’re one of 200 officers or one of 300 officers. I think if you were to ask any of our deputies, they would say they come to spend time with their family every day, and family holds each other accountable, and that’s what we do.”