Mecklenburg County Sheriff

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It's an off-year election in Mecklenburg County - with no big races on the ballot like president or governor. But among the races that are up for a vote, there appears to be more interest - at least judging by higher turnout in early voting. 

This year's Democratic primary campaign for Mecklenburg County Sheriff has been a lively one, with a first-term incumbent facing two outspoken challengers. They've criticized the sheriff over his support for the federal immigration enforcement program known as 287(g), for eliminating in-person jail visits and for the jail's use of solitary confinement. 

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Video visits with inmates and participation in a federal immigration enforcement program were two of the flashpoint issues at the Mecklenburg County sheriff's forum Thursday night at Little Rock AME Zion Church.

Nick de la Canal/ WFAE

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff is defending his participation in a federal program that allows deputies to help enforce federal immigration law. The program, known as 287g, has become a sticking point in the sheriff’s upcoming bid for re-election.

Democrat Joyce Waddell (right) and other state legislators from Mecklenburg County were among the first to register Monday for as candidate filing opened for the 2018 elections.
Michael Falero / WFAE

Ten incumbent state legislators from the Charlotte area were among the first to file Monday as candidates began signing up for the 2018 election. Other races on the ballot this year include Congress, district attorney, county commission and other county positions.

ICE officers making an arrest.
Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Ever since President Donald Trump's executive orders in January, immigration officials have insisted that when it comes to enforcement, it's business as usual - mostly. Statistics are hard to come by, especially at the local level. But there are signs of a shift at Immigration Customs & Enforcement, or ICE.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department is one of just 37 agencies to participate in a federal program known as 287(g). It allows deputies to take part in enforcing federal immigration laws.

Participation in the program is voluntary and controversial.

On Thursday the Sheriff's Department hoped to answer questions about 287-G by allowing reporters to walk through the process.

David Boraks / WFAE

  After adding staff and installing new software, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office has nearly eliminated a backlog in pistol permit applications that followed a change in state law last December. Officials say they're ready for another wave of applications after last week's mass shooting in Orlando.

Mecklenburg County Superior Court has added staff and expanded overtime for existing employees to process a backlog of pistol permit background checks that came with a Dec. 1 change in state law. The new law requires authorities to check mental health records before issuing pistol purchase permits. But demand and a staff shortage in the clerk's office has brought wait times of up to four months. 

Deshaun Watson
Jeff Siner / The Charlote Observer

Police have named the victims and are continuing to investigate a triple murder Friday in Pineville. Meanwhile, a driver suspected in a fatal hit and run last week on Pineville-Matthews Road has been charged after turning himself in to police. And Heisman Trophy hopeful Deshaun Watson put on a show before a record crowd at Bank of America Stadium last night, as No. 1 ranked Clemson defeated North Carolina for the ACC football title.