Wooten, Burton join Team Kimbrough, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office

Shortly after he was sworn in, Kimbrough appointed Tim Wooten as Deputy Sheriff and Dr. Tony Burton as Sr. Human Resource Officer. 

Wooten, Burton join Team Kimbrough, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
December 27
09:18 2018

Earlier this month we all witnessed history when Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough was officially sworn in as the first African-American elected to serve in Forsyth County. While neighboring counties struggle to find suitable representation to fill positions, just a few weeks on the job Kimbrough has already started putting together a team of individuals to help him lead the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office into the future. 

Shortly after he was sworn in, Kimbrough appointed Tim Wooten as Deputy Sheriff and Dr. Tony Burton as Sr. Human Resource Officer. 

Kimbrough said he wanted a team of people with strong will and integrity. 

“… I didn’t want any Yes-Men or Yes-Women, I wanted people around me who would tell me when I’m wrong,” he said.

Although they competed against each other in the primary election, Kimbrough said he knew Wooten was the man for the job. Kimbrough said his relationship with Wooten dates back to the 80s. 

“I knew he had worked here previously but that didn’t matter to me. If he needs to, I know he will tell me we need to rethink this,” continued Kimbrough. “I also realized that when you come somewhere, it’s good to have a scout with you. A scout is someone who can tell you the lay of the land and so having someone who had worked here before made the job a lot easier. It was an easy decision for me.”

Including two separate stints with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, time with the Winston-Salem Police Department and serving as police chief in Cooleemee, N.C., Wooten has 40 years of law enforcement experience. In the past, Wooten hasn’t been shy about discussing the issues within the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. 

He said a major concern for him and Kimbrough during the primary election was the number of vacancies. He said, “We found there were just so many vacancies that it blew us away. 

“… At one point I think it got up to 70 total vacancies here and we couldn’t understand that. We knew that something needed to be done,” he said. “We’re working diligently with Dr. Burton to try to bring qualified applicants to the agency. We’re dwindling down those vacancies where now there’s only a few.”

With the position in the Human Relations department, Sheriff Kimbrough said when he came in the door and saw there was a vacancy, they looked at some other people and thought of Burton. He said, “I knew Dr. Burton was an educator. I knew he was a grassroots person. I knew he had a lot of creativity about him and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t want someone that had spent time in law enforcement or carried a gun, that’s not what I was looking for.

“… I wanted someone who understands people. Someone who can facilitate how do we get better at bringing the best applicants to the table for the citizens of this county because they deserve the best.”

Before joining the Sheriff’s office, Burton was chief executive of Northwest Child Development Center, which operated MudPies. He has also worked with multiple organizations in the area, including Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest University, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Burton is also a member of the WSPD’s Citizen Review Board. 

In his role as senior human resource officer, Burton said he will oversee the entire recruiting, hiring, and exiting process for the office. He mentioned that he will also be responsible for implementing new programs. 

“Anything in the hiring process we handle. We do all the background checks and we have a lot of people in place who take on all of those roles and my job is to coordinate all of that,” said Burton. “Everything that falls under recruiting, everything that happens under hiring and discharging, all of those things fall under the HR Department.”

Burton said a point of emphasis under the new leadership is ensuring diversity. He said, “One of the things the Sheriff wants to do is make sure we’re representative of the community and because I have experience in so many different areas, it allows me to go back and recruit in those areas and bring those traits here to the office.”

When asked what citizens can expect from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office under his leadership, Sheriff Kimbrough said his goal is to build bridges with citizens in the community and with other agencies in the area. He said while he’s in office, everyone in Forsyth County will have a voice within the Sheriff’s office. 

“Everybody in this community we believe should have a voice. We want to serve all of the community – the north, the south, the east and the west. We believe that it’s going to take a village approach of law enforcement,” he continued, “… so the people can expect the best from us. And they’re always going to be at the forefront of every decision we make here.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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