Gaston County Sheriff's Office
|Gaston County Sheriff's Office|
|Patch of the Gaston County Sheriff's Office.|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||County (US) of Gaston in the state of North Carolina, USA|
|Map of Gaston County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction.|
|Size||364 square miles (940 km2)|
|Headquarters||Gastonia, North Carolina|
|Agency executive||Alan Cloninger, Sheriff|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Gaston County Sheriff's Office is a law enforcement agency in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States. The Gaston County Sheriff's Office is responsible for operating the county jail system, protecting the county courthouse, serving civil and criminal documents, evictions, seizure of property or money as ordered by the courts, and pursuing and arresting fugitives from legal actions taken through the courts.
The Sheriff's Office is not primarily responsible for general law enforcement in Gaston County. Law enforcement within the incorporated municipalities of Gaston County is generally the responsibility of the police department of the particular municipality. Responsibility for law enforcement in unincorporated areas of the county rests with the Gaston County Police Department.
Involvement in Illegal Immigration Enforcement
Since 2007, the Gaston County Sheriff's office has been involved with a controversial federal immigration enforcement program. In the "287(g) program," federally trained deputies are authorized to check the immigration status of people who are arrested and taken to the Gaston County Jail. Gaston County is considered one of leading counties in North Carolina in the detention of illegal immigrants. Critics cite the fact that the primary charges filed against aliens in the Gaston County Jail are traffic violations. From April 2007 through June 2008, 599 Gaston County inmates were interviewed about their immigration status and 488 processed for removal from the United States. Those 599 inmates were arrested, collectively, on 735 charges (698 misdemeanors and 37 felonies), including 422 traffic charges (99 for DWI).
- Gaston County Sheriff's Office website. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
- "Most immigration detainees brought in on minor traffic violations", Barry Smith, The Times-News (Burlington, NC), July 5, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
- "Traffic violations, not felonies or DWIs, leading catalyst for immigration enforcement (updated with Gaston County statistics)", Gaston Gazette, July 7, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.