LINCOLNTON – Friday, Nov. 30, marks the final day in office for Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter, who has decided to retire after two terms in the role and a law enforcement career that spanned more than 30 years.
Carpenter, a Lincoln County native who graduated from West Lincoln High School, grew up dreaming of a career in law enforcement. He got his start as a part-time dispatcher as a senior in high school and then worked his way through the ranks to road patrol deputy, detective, narcotics investigator and, eventually, lieutenant.
“It’s been a very rewarding career because working here for the citizens of Lincoln County is all I’ve ever done throughout my entire adult life,” Carpenter said. “It’s just been a really neat experience to be able to stay at home and serve the citizens that I’ve known all my life, and then to be able to fulfill my lifelong dream of possibly one day being elected sheriff of Lincoln County.”
Carpenter was first elected in 2010, when he prevailed over former Lincolnton Police Chief Terry Burgin, and then again in 2014, when he ran unopposed. Carpenter vowed to take a stand against narcotics while on the campaign trail, and now, eight years later, he walks away from the office most proud of the work that he and his staff were able to do to uphold that promise.
“I wanted to excel in drug arrests and investigations, and I think we fulfilled that commitment that I made to the citizens back in 2010,” Carpenter said. “Another thing that I promised the folks when I was sworn in in 2010 is that I would never jeopardize the integrity of the office of sheriff, and I’ve held strong to that standard.”
Carpenter will be replaced by newly elected Bill Beam, who worked alongside Carpenter for many years and served under him as chief deputy emeritus during Carpenter’s first term. Beam has been serving on the county board of commissioners before he decided to pursue this role. Carpenter publicly endorsed Beam’s campaign and is confident in the abilities of the new sheriff to lead the county into the future.
“I’m confident in Sheriff Beam taking over because he has the experience and knows what it takes to run the Sheriff’s Office,” Carpenter said. “I know that just about anybody can run for the office of sheriff, but when the rubber meets the road you need someone who knows what it takes to work in all aspects of law enforcement from patrol to detention, and Sheriff Beam has that experience.”
Carpenter said he and his wife, Edie, who’s also preparing to retire in the near future, haven’t planned any vacations yet, but they do have a long list of household projects to accomplish.
“I’m going to miss the job of law enforcement in general,” Carpenter said. “It’s going to be difficult for me to adapt to being away from a job that I’ve always done. I’m going to miss the folks that I’ve had the privilege of working with, and I’m going to miss watching our young officers mature into experienced officers of the law.”