Clemmons is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement. He joined the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in October 1989. In 1991, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division.
By 1997, he had earned the rank of Lieutenant and Shift Supervisor, and a year later he was promoted to Captain. In 2002, Clemmons earned the rank of Major.
“I am offering myself in continuing public service to the citizens of Richmond County for whom I have the greatest respect,” Clemmons said. “As Sheriff, I will continue to make public safety and protection of property my primary objective.”
In his current role, Clemmons is third in command over the Civil and Criminal Process Division. He is responsible for the daily operations, including patrol, courts, jail and transportation.
During his tenure at the Sheriff’s Office, Clemmons has served as supervisor of the multi-agency Sheriff’s Special Response Team. He has been responsible for the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, and he has been trained in Community Oriented Policing.
As Sheriff, Clemmons pledged his commitment to the protection of Richmond County’s citizens and to provide the level of service expected and deserved by the citizens. Clemmons will continue to make procedures and up-to-date equipment a priority in operating the department.
With the opening of the new Judicial Center in early 2010, the Sheriff’s Office will face increasing demands. While the Sheriff’s Department and Richmond County Jail will continue to operate in the courthouse, the Clerk of Court, courts and Judicial District 20A District Attorney’s offices will relocate to the new Judicial Center.
“I have gained the necessary experience as a Deputy and Major to evaluate and maintain an effective level of personnel to adequately staff expanding services and meet increasing demands,” Clemmons said.
He has been involved with the Sheriff’s Department budget, and he intends to operate a fiscally conservative and efficient department within the funds budgeted by the Board of Commissioners.
“My career goal has been to become the Sheriff of Richmond County,” he said. “However, I knew that dedication and experience alone would not achieve my goal. I knew that the Office of Sheriff must be filled by an individual of the highest integrity who possesses the leadership, dedication education, training, loyalty, honesty and commitment to public service.”
Therefore, in preparing for this career goal, Clemmons went back to school and earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mount Olive College, where he was also inducted into the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
Clemmons has been trained in various areas including:
Basic and Advanced Special Weapons and Tactics; Basic Criminal Investigation; Case Management; Arson Investigation; Police Law Institute; Blood Spatter Interpretation; Civil Liability; Latent Evidence; nterview and Interrogations; and Train the Trainer Instructor School for Community Oriented Policing.
Additionally, he has become involved in several community organizations to gain valuable knowledge and understanding of quality of life issues. Among those are: Co-Chairman of Richmond County Law Enforcement for N.C. Special Olympics; Vice-Chairman of the Richmond County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; Pee Dee Youth Council; Richmond County Criminal Justice Partnership Program; Community Resource Council for the N.C. Department of Corrections at Morrison Correctional Institution; member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.; and a member of the Western Star #9 Prince Hall Masonic Lodge in Salisbury.
Clemmons is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Richmond and will serve as chair of the group in 2010.
Over the years, Clemmons has participated in the administration of various functions within the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, thanks to the opportunities afforded him by Sheriff Dale Furr.
Clemmons expressed regrets that Sheriff Furr recently announced he will not seek re-election after a 40-year career in law enforcement. Clemmons describes Sheriff Furr as an outstanding role model who has encouraged and supported him throughout his years of service with the Sheriff’s Department.
“I assure you that I am prepared to continue to administer the duties of the Office of Sheriff of Richmond County,” he said. “I am committed to maintaining and improving the Sheriff’s Office in vital areas of training, education, technology, equipment and professionalism, which the citizens of Richmond County deserve.”
Prior to his law enforcement career in Richmond County, Clemmons was employed at the Department of Corrections in Salisbury in 1981. He later transferred to Morrison Youth Institution. There he was promoted to Sergeant and later assigned to Pender Correctional Center in Burgaw.
Clemmons is married to Patricia Clemmons and they have one son, James Clemmons III. He is a member of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Zion Church in Rockingham.