Hoke approves Teen Court funding, new Sheriff SUVs

The Sheriff gave an update on a recent police chase and shooting

The Hoke County Board of Commissioners met Monday, March 4, hearing from Sheriff Roderick Vergil about a recent shooting and considering a host of property matters.

“On Saturday [March 2], we had an incident where there was a call for service involving several armed suspects. It was a home invasion and one of my officers spotted the car going down away from the incident. They got into a chase and at one point, the suspects fired at least 20 to 25 rounds at my officers’ car, striking it multiple times,” Vergil told the board. “Thank God he wasn’t hit. That was a blessing.”

Vergil went on to thank the people of Hoke County for their support and well-wishes.

“People look at Hoke County and they say well Hoke County is just a small, little county, but it’s not so much the size, it’s the mentality of the people that make up our communities,” he said. “With the prayers ,and the support of the Commissioners, and with our training, my officer came out, stayed in the fight, reverted back to his training and came out okay. We made one arrest and we’re looking to make several more arrests here to come. Other than that, everybody is fine.”

Continuing his inspiring and thankful message, Vergil asked for the community to continue coming together in the future.

“We’re all one big family. We have to stay closely knitted because we’re living in dangerous, dangerous times. We need everybody’s support within our community,” he said. “Not just you guys, but we need everybody’s support. When we’re wrong, we’re wrong. We admit it and move forward, but as a village, together, we can accomplish anything.”

Fittingly, the board approved the purchase of six new Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicles at an initial cost of around $45,000 per SUV.

$50,000 in Juvenile Crime Prevention Council funds were accepted to operate Teen Court, a support program that works to help youths avoid the judicial system.

“We do community service with those youths,” explained Teen Court coordinator Jada Maxwell. “We do educational seminars so they are able to learn and understand their wrongs and learn how to correct them.”

“The youth that get in trouble in the school system, at home with fussing, fighting, cutting, whatever, this program helps protect their record,” said chairman James Leach. “So when they finish high school, they can go to the military or they can go to college because their record’s not messed up. Without this program, they fight, get charged and go to court.”

In Teen Court, juvenile offenders are tried by other teens and, if convicted, receive community service. “This keeps their record clean and $50,000 is pennies to the value we get out of this program,” Leach said.

The Hoke County Board of Commissioners will next meet March 18.