SHANNON — James Argus Jones Jr., a retired master trooper with the N.C. Highway Patrol, has become the fourth candidate to announce a bid for sheriff.
Jones joins three other Democrats hoping to replace Sheriff Ken Sealey, who is expected to retire and not seek re-election.
During a 30-year career in law enforcement — the past 20 years with the Highway Patrol — Jones served in Robeson, Bladen, Cumberland and Mecklenburg counties. He also worked on a special response team while working in Mecklenburg County.
Over the years he received many certifications and commendations, including the intermediate and advanced law enforcement certificates and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
“… I have established and built my career in a variety of roles. I have built my foundation on being fair, honest, maintaining integrity and upholding the law to the best of my ability,” said Jones. “As sheriff of Robeson County my goals are: to be one of high moral and professional standards; to restore the integrity and rebuild trust and respect between the Sheriff’s Office and citizens of Robeson County; and to uphold and move forward with change for a brighter future.”
Jones, 53, is a native of Robeson County. He graduated from Magnolia High School in 1981 and then pursued an associate’s degree in Police Science at Robeson Community College in Lumberton. While attending RCC he obtained his Basic Law Enforcement training certificate.
He is the eldest son of James A. Jones and the late Ellen Jones. He has four brothers and three sisters.
“My parents instilled in me hardworking ethics,” Jones said. “I learned at a very young age to work on the farm, operate our family-owned business named West Saddletree Gas and Grocery, and assisted in the operation of West Saddletree Saw and Tool Sharpening in the West Saddletree community”
For the past eight years he has been married to his Sara Jones. They are the legal guardians of Tyson Bryant.
Jones is an active member of Morning Star Community Baptist Church in Lumberton. For more than eight years he has been in charge of his church’s Community Day, an event during which local law enforcement, firefighters and emergency personnel join community members and participate in fun events.
Currently, Jones is a volunteer member of the Rennert Fire Department. He is a former member of the Saddletree Fire Department, mentors youth and law enforcement officers, and speaks at local churches, schools and colleges on safety issues and the requirements needed to apply for a position with the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Jones said that he has wanted to become Robeson County’s sheriff since he was 20 years old.
“As sheriff I would be able to help the citizens of Robeson County,” he said. “…This campaign is for the citizens of Robeson County and those passing through. I’m more concerned about the people than myself.”
In addition to Jones, announced candidates include Randy Graham, a former internal investigator with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office; Burnis Wilkins, a law enforcement instructor and a Lumberton councilman; and Ronnie Patterson, the police chief of Red Springs.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.