Burke County Sheriff's Office

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Sheriff John T. McDevitt
John T. McDevitt became Burke County's fifty-eighth sheriff on December 7, 1998. Sheriff McDevitt began his law enforcement career in 1976 as a deputy for Burke County. In 1982, he joined the Morganton Department of Public Safety where he remained until his election as sheriff. The McDevitt moniker is synonymous with law enforcement; his late father, Tom was a N.C. police chief, his brother, Don is a N.C. State Highway patrolman, and his wife, Cathy is Assistant Chief of Police with the N.C. State Hospital facilities located in Morganton. His son Eddie is a Special Agent with the United States Army Criminal Investigations Division, stationed in Bamberg, Germany. In his spare time, Sheriff McDevitt enjoys camping and spending time with his three children, Eddie, Caitlin, and J.T., and granddaughters Alysha and Evangeline.
Awards and Honors:
  • "Order of the Long Leaf Pine" Award (2011) from North Carolina Governer
  • "Above and Beyond" Award (2005) - Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve
  • Recipient of the Prestigious American Police Hall of Fame Award (2002)
  • Best Dressed Sheriff's Office in the Nation (2000)
  • Award of Honor by the International Narcotics Enforcement Officer's Association for Outstanding Performance in a Major Federal Drug Investigation (1996)
  • Citation of Merit by Region C of the Criminal Justice Planning Agency (1989)
  • Award of Honor by the U.S. Customs Service in Recognition for Exceptional Efforts in Support of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation: "Operation Infinity" (1988-1996)
  • Advanced Law Enforcement Certification (1986)
  • Intermediate Law Enforcement Certification (1984)
  • General Law Enforcement Certification (1982)
  • Letters of Commendation in November, 1975; May, 1979; September, 1983; June, 1987; July, 1987; August, 1987; October, 1988; and September, 1996
Local, State and National Law Enforcement Memberships Include:
  • North Carolina Sheriff's Association (Recommendations Committee and Legislative Committee)
  • National Sheriff's Association
  • National Drug Enforcement Committee
  • Blue Ridge Police Executives - President
  • Burke County Law Enforcement Retirees
  • Morganton-Burke Fraternal Order of Police - President
  • Smoky Mountain Police Executives
Burke County Task Force Memberships include:
  • Burke County Homeland Security
  • Morganton/Burke Crime Stoppers
  • Domestic Violence Task Force
  • Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
  • Safe Schools Task Force (Review Committee for Safe Schools)
Board of Directors Memberships Include:
  • Burke County Criminal Justice Advisory Board
  • Chairman Burke-Catawba Detention Confinement Facility
  • Burke County Foster to Adopt Board
  • Burke County Homes for Hearts
  • Chairman Burke County Narcotics Task Force
  • D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education)
  • OPTIONS, Inc. - Board of Directors President
  • 2011 Chairman Piedmont Council of Boy Scouts-Friends of Scouting
  • REPAY, Inc.
  • Western Piedmont Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board
  • Chairman Burke County Community Watch
Board of Trustees Memberships Include: 
  • Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System
  • Local Government Employees' Retirement System
Civic Memberships Include:
  • El Bethel Baptist Church
  • Oak Hill Ruritan Club
  • Morganton Rotary Club (Honorary Member)
  • Table Rock Shooters
  • Morganton Men's Club