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About the Chief

Richard Epley, republican candidate for Burke County Sheriff, is a native of Burke County, North Carolina. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Gardner-Webb University and has forty years of public law enforcement experience. Mr. Epley served his country honorably as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.


Shortly after coming back home to Morganton, he began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a public safety officer at Morganton Public Safety in Morganton, North Carolina. In 1987, he became a Deputy at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, after which he served as a surveillance officer in adult probation.

In 1994, Epley was sworn in as the elected Sheriff of Burke County, a position he held until 1998. During his tenure at the Sheriff’s Office, he focused on domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and reduction in crime rate. He also focused on improving the department including personnel training, more officers on patrol, better equipment, and promoting more active roles for women in the department. He also worked with the public school system to develop an intensive school resource officer program, as well as early intervention programs within the public school system.

Over the years, Epley has served on many boards and civic organizations including the Private Protection Services Board and the Valdese Rotary Club, and is a member of the Morganton Masonic Lodge and Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church. He is currently the owner and Chief at Delta Company Police, a position he has held since 2007. Epley lives in Morganton with his wonderful wife, Sandra, who is Chief of Security for Delta Protection Agency.

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