Ernie Coleman
Sheriff of Beaufort County

Leadership, Experience, and Values


Ernie Coleman - Republican Candidate for Sheriff

I was born in Fayetteville, NC and raised in Rocky Mount in a Christian, conservative home with my mother, father, and 4 brothers. I attended public schools in Nash County and graduated from Northern Nash Senior High School in 1979. My first vote was cast for Ronald Reagan in November, 1980.     

In 1981, I enlisted in the United States Air Force. During my enlistment, I was assigned to Strategic Air Command. My primary duty was to remove and replace Nuclear Warheads and Guidance Control sections on Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. I was trained in counter terrorism, executive protection, and possessed a Top Secret security clearance through the United States Air Force. I had extensive weapons training and was awarded a ribbon as a small arms expert. I left Military service in 1985 after 4 years of service with an Honorable Discharge. I then served 2 years on reserve before completing my Military obligation.   

In January 1986, I was appointed to the Basic North Carolina State Highway Patrol Academy in Raleigh, NC. Upon graduating I was sworn in as a Trooper and assigned to Beaufort County. I served the citizens of Beaufort County for 20 years as a Trooper before accepting a promotion to Sergeant. For one year following my promotion I served a stint in Statesville and Roanoke Rapids before being transferred to Troop Headquarters in Greenville, NC. There I was assigned and served 2 years as the Highway Patrol’s public relations and Information Sergeant for 20 counties stretching from Elizabeth City to Morehead City where I handled all major news media events for the Highway patrol. I also instructed AARP Drivers Safety classes, taught Drivers Education in the public high schools, and presented safety programs to military bases, colleges, and private corporations. I spent the last 2 years of my career as a district supervisor assigned to Pitt and Martin County. During my 25 years with the State Highway Patrol I was honored to meet 3 U.S. Presidents. Ronald Reagan in 1986, William Jefferson Clinton in 1999, and George W. Bush in 2005. In 2005, I was selected to be on a team of 40 N.C. Troopers that traveled to Washington, DC and worked the Inauguration of President Bush. I was sworn in as a U.S. Marshall at Georgetown University and was assigned to work with the Secret Service on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Inauguration. I was a law enforcement instructor, training officer, and training supervisor with the State Highway Patrol and instructed many of the Troopers that are still on the Patrol today. I am still currently a certified Law Enforcement Instructor and hold an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate with the North Carolina Criminal Justice, Education, and Training Standards Commission. I retired from the State Highway Patrol on September 1st, 2010 and was honored by receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the Governor’s office for my service to the citizens of North Carolina.        

In December 2010, I was sworn in as a Reserve Deputy with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department. I served the Sheriff’s office for 8 months. When I resigned, I was working on employee applications and background investigations.

In November 2011, I accepted a position with the Beaufort County Community College Police Department. For the past 2 and a half years I have been a law enforcement officer, law enforcement instructor, and have also served as interim Chief of Campus Police.       

In closing, I would like to state that I believe in the rights of citizens to bear arms, and that the Government should concentrate more of their efforts and resources on laws and punishments to prevent criminals from possessing fire arms and not honest citizens. I believe that our current ($500,000.00) renovated jail can be adequate for now but is too small and inadequate for our future needs. HOWEVER, I believe that in this financially unstable economy that we need to make informed, rational decisions, and should slow down the process to have more debates, more of our citizens input on where, when, and if a new jail is feasible at this time, exactly how it will be funded, and the financial impact it will have on ours and our children’s future. Finally, I believe that we are still a Christian Nation and should be governed as such.    

Thank You for your continued support and concern for the future success and safety of our county.   

Ernie Coleman.  


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

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