Command Staff Bios

Charles Blackwood began his career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on December 16, 1980, hired by Sheriff C.D. “Buck” Knight.  He then served under Sheriff A.L. “Lindy” Pendergrass who was elected initially in 1982 and remained sheriff for 32 years.

In 2000, Blackwood attended the 26th session of the Administrative Officer’s Management Program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh; his classmates elected him as the class vice-president. Blackwood rose through the ranks, becoming the Captain of Services in 2003 and the Major of Operations in 2010. In 2011, he helped develop the Sheriff’s Leadership Institute, an intensive course of instruction for newly elected sheriffs across the state.

Blackwood retired on December 17, 2012 after more than 30 years of service to the people of Orange County. Former Governor Beverly Perdue awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honor, in recognition of his exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. During his short-lived retirement, he prepared to run for election, anticipating that Sheriff Pendergrass would soon step down.

Following an active campaign against several qualified candidates, the people of Orange County elected Charles Blackwood in 2014 as their 47th sheriff; he took the oath of office in December of that year. Soon after, he graduated from the same Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute he helped establish three years earlier.

Blackwood is an active member of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association where he is a member of the Legislative Committee and serves as the Third Vice President on the Executive Committee.  Appointed by former Attorney General Roy Cooper, Charles is also a Governing Board Member of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Information Network. He also serves on the North Carolina Justice Academy’s Joint In-Service Training Committee, and Roy Cooper, now governor, appointed him to the Governors’ Crime Commission in 2017.

Sheriff Blackwood is now in his second term; voters re-elected him as Sheriff in 2018.

Charles is married to Lisa Williams Blackwood, a lifelong resident of Orange County. Lisa taught school with the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools for 13-years and now works as an Accounts Payable Specialist at Summit Design and Engineering. Their daughter, Jordan, a graduate of East Carolina University, is the Marketing and Sales Director at Carillon Assisted Living of Hillsborough. Their son, Casey, is a graduate of UNC Asheville. He works as a Customer Care Representative for Ubisoft, a video game company specializing in immersive world experiences.


Address: 106 E. Margaret Ln. Hillsborough, NC 27278


Direct Line: (919) 245-2922                    Main Office: (919) 245-2900


Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes - Native of Orange County. He has been in law enforcement since 1995.


Chief Sykes began his career as a detention officer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.  Two years later, he moved to the patrol division where he progressed from a Field Training Officer to Corporal and then to Sergeant.  He also served in the courts and civil divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.


In 2005, Chief Sykes completed and graduated from the 41st Administrative Officers Management Program at North Carolina State University.  Chief Sykes diversified his law enforcement experience when he transitioned to the Hillsborough Police Department in 2007.  During his three years with the Department, Sykes was the Supervising Sergeant of the Patrol Division.


When he returned to the Sheriff’s Office in 2010, Chief Sykes took on a new role as an Investigator in the narcotics division.  In 2012, he was promoted to the Narcotics Division Supervisor.


In December 2014, Sheriff Blackwood selected Jamison Sykes as his Chief Deputy to serve as his principal command staff officer.  As Chief Deputy, he assists the Sheriff with the daily operations of the Office.  In his role, he frees the Sheriff from routine tasks and serves as a conduit between the staff and the Sheriff, conveying pertinent information and insights.  The Chief Deputy assists the Sheriff in participating in the planning process for present and future conditions and in supporting the divisions to attain agency goals and mission.


The Chief Deputy must be able to anticipate events or trends that may impact the organization.  His vision of operations, events, and requirements should be nearly identical to those of the Sheriff.


Address: 106 E. Margaret Ln. Hillsborough, NC 27278


Direct Line: (919) 245-2913                    Main Office: (919) 245-2900


Jennifer Galassi - Obtained her undergraduate degree as the University of North Carolina and graduated with highest honors and highest distinction.  She also attended Carolina Law, graduating with honors.  Galassi became licensed to practice law in North Carolina in 2004.  She began her practice in Greensboro where she focused her work on corporate transactional work.

Later, Galassi joined a bilingual law firm in Durham, North Carolina.  


In 2007, Galassi joined the Orange County Office of Human Rights and Relations where she conducted investigations of allegations of housing discrimination.  In 2010, Galassi joined the Orange County Attorney’s Office.  In this role, she began working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.  Upon his election in 2014, Sheriff Blackwood selected Galassi as his full time Legal Advisor.  The Legal Advisor is part of the Sheriff’s Command Staff and is involved in both management and operational matters.  Galassi provides legal advice to and legal representation of the Sheriff on a vast array of issues, including, but not limited to, criminal law and procedure, employment law, civil liability, detention matters, and day-to-day operations.

Address: 106 E. Margaret Ln. Hillsborough, NC 27278


Direct Line: (919) 245-2952                    Main Office: (919) 245-2900


Tracy Smith - She has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1995. During that time, she has served in various administrative roles including receptionist, Head of Records, and currently serves as the Assistant to the Sheriff and Office Manager. As various administrations and staffing have evolved, Tracy has adapted to each change in stride and is instrumental in the seamless operation of the “back of the house.”

Tracy was born and raised in Orange County. In December of 2014, Tracy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Religion from Liberty University.  This was done while working full time and raising not only her family, but also her Sheriff’s Office family!

Address: 106 E. Margaret Ln. Hillsborough, NC 27278


Direct Line: (919) 245-2904                    Main Office: (919) 245-2900


Major Lloyd Bradsher - Is the Captain over Fleet Services and Operation Equipment. One who has shown his loyalty and dependability for over 25 years as a law enforcement officer.


Early in his career he worked as a detention officer, a D.A.R.E., and School Resource officer.


He then served as a patrol deputy and obtained the rank of 1st. Lieutenant. He was then promoted to his current rank of Captain.

Address: 106 E. Margaret Ln. Hillsborough, NC 27278


Direct Line: (919) 245-2919                    Main Office: (919) 245-2900


Visitors since January 2017