Sheriff Auten files for re-election

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Call it a birthday present or just the right timing, but Rowan Sheriff Kevin Auten filed for re-election on what was his 53rd birthday. Auten has been in office since 2011. He is running unopposed so far.

There were nearly a dozen candidates in the 2010 primary, but the two remaining names on the ballot pitted Auten against former co-worker and longtime friend, John Noble.

Auten became interim sheriff in 2010 after former Sheriff George Wilhelm retired in November 2009.

During his tenure, his agency has investigated several high-profile murders, some within the last year, and has even recently re-opened cold cases, some dating 40 years ago.

Throughout much of the last year, Auten, along with the local school system, advocated for the reinstatement of school resource officers in the middle schools. Resource officers were removed from the middle schools during the 2009-10 school year when the state cut funding to the school system. The state awarded the school system a grant that will help cover the cost of the officers.

Auten said his priorities include “working with community partners to protect and educate our youth.”

In July, Auten partnered with Bojangle’s for a fundraiser to benefit the agency’s Safety Pup Program. The educational program teaches children about being drug free and how to stay safe.

He is a member of North Rowan Booster Club, Fulton Masonic Lodge No. 99, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Law Enforcement Protocol Committee, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, Family Crisis Council Board and the N.C. Special Olympics.

Auten and his wife, Jennifer, live in Salisbury. The couple have one son, Dylan. Auten’s mother, Becky also lives in Rowan County.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.