Howard Blough serves as a Sergeant in the Orange County Detention Center.


Born in Alamance County, Blough graduated from Eastern Alamance High School and then enrolled in the United States Marine Corps. Stationed in Hawaii, he served as a military police officer until 1991. When he returned to civilian life, he worked at a variety of jobs, the longest of which was with a company in Mebane. He was a machinist making electric motors for air conditioners, primarily working with a CNC lathe.


Blough returned to law enforcement, this time in a civilian capacity, when he accepted a job with Sheriff Terry Johnson in Alamance County in 2005. He attended Basic Detention Officer School at the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. The stability of a law enforcement career suited him. A few years later he accepted a position with Orange County when offered one by then Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass in 2007. 


After graduating from Basic Law Enforcement Training at the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Blough served Orange County on patrol, in the courts, and as a transport officer. When transferred to the Detention Center in 2012, he enjoyed the structure and found his temperament and past experiences helped him work effectively with the inmate population. He became a corporal in 2014. In 2016, Sheriff Blackwood promoted him to Sergeant.


As a sergeant, Blough is responsible for the safety and security of the building and everyone in it while his shift is on duty. This includes staff, inmates, the kitchen staff, medical personnel, and the cleaning crew. He advises those under his command to take similar ownership of the detention center as he finds this leads them to increased professionalism and success. Blough finds the work challenging as no two days are the same and there is always a new twist to otherwise familiar situations. At the same time, he finds it important not to overthink matters as his core responsibility is simple - to the best of his ability, he tries to end his shift with the staff, inmates, and facility in the same shape they were in when the shift began.


In addition to his work in the Detention Center, Blough is also a licensed ordained minister and the pastor at Truth in the Word Church of Christ.


Address: 125 Court Street Hillsborough, NC 27278


Phone: (919) 245-2940