I’m Doug Doughtie and I am your Sheriff. My law enforcement career spans thirty years and covers every aspect of police work including patrol, investigations, narcotics and work as a school resource officer. I have twice been promoted to the rank of lieutenant, once with Ahoskie PD where I began my career and again with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office where I retired in 2006.
Since 1989, I have lived in Dare County with my wife, Shanon, and three wonderful boys. As an active member of the community I am on the Board of Deacons with Kitty Hawk Baptist and on the Board of Directors for Outer Banks Babe Ruth. I’m a Youth Teacher at my church and have coached baseball, basketball and soccer with Dare County Parks and Rec for the past ten years. I am active in the FCA.
After having long enjoyed the benefits of living in Dare County, I felt it was time to give back. My long career and experience working in Dare County has given me a vision of how this Sheriff’s Office should be run. The citizens should not be satisfied with the status quo, and I am the man to lead the Sheriff’s Office.
The ABC’s of the Dare County Sheriff's Office
Accessibility, Balance, and Commitment -
I believe the Sheriff’s Office serves the people of Dare County and to do that successfully, the Sheriff must make himself available to hear what the citizens have to say. It doesn’t do a bit of good to shut yourself in an office all day and act as if Dare County begins and ends at the Manteo town line. Accessibility begins with simply making sure everyone can call me. My personal cell phone number is (252) 216-9898. The only time I won’t answer the phone myself is if I’m in court or church, but if you leave a message I will call you right back.
Accessibility also means making my deputies more available to the public. I am fully committed to a broad community policing approach. I want to get my deputies out of their cars and into neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and any other venue where they can have positive contacts with the public. Finally, Accessibility means that the public has the opportunity to see what their Sheriff’s Office is doing for them. Citizens will be able to provide feedback, criticism, compliments and even make suggestions to improve our service.
In Law Enforcement, there's a tendency to view the public with a “Us vs. Them” mentality. In fact, the police serve the communities in which they work. Fifty years ago the job was all about locking up bad guys, but now we have to take a broader perspective. Officers have to be involved in the community, they have to be problem solvers not just ticket writers. Make no mistake, I’m going to enforce the law and lock up the bad guys, but I’m also going to do more. I’m going to form strong partnerships with private sector entities as well as vital governmental institutions like the Department of Social Services, Older Adult Services, and Friends of Youth. Together we’re going to see that citizens get the very best service Dare County has to offer.
Balance also means bringing a more proactive approach toward law enforcement. Right now, police work is mostly reactive. We get a 911 call, we respond. A home gets broken into, we take a report. A citizen complains about suspicious activity, we investigate. There will always be a reactive component to police work, but I think we can do better in detecting and deterring problems.
I love Dare County. We have a community here that is rare and precious and I am committed to protecting that. We've already lost a lot of ground. Gone are the days you could leave your doors unlocked and your keys in the car. What I want to prevent is getting to the point where we're putting bars on windows and metal detectors in the schools. I’m proud to send my own children through Dare County schools, which are some of the best in the state. I’m proud of the generosity of our citizens when it comes to raising money for worthy causes. I’m proud of our clean beaches and the fact that even in a down economy, we remain a favorite destination for folks from all over the world.
I'm committed to keeping Dare County a place where people want to raise families, where they feel safe, and where they want to return to visit year after year.