Sheriff Blackwood is a 42-year Veteran of the Sheriff’s Office where he began his career December 16, 1980. He was elected as the 47th Sheriff of Orange County and took Office in December of 2014.
Since becoming Sheriff, he graduated from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association’s Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute, an intensive course of instruction for newly elected sheriffs that he was instrumental in developing several years before becoming Sheriff.
Sheriff Blackwood is currently serving as President of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. He is also Vice-Chair of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Information Network. Governor Roy Cooper appointed Charles to the North Carolina Governors’ Crime Commission in 2017, and named him Vice-Chair in 2020. In 2021 Governor Cooper appointed Sheriff Blackwood to the newly formed Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. He is also Vice-Chair of the North Carolina Justice Academy Joint In-Service Training Committee.
SBI Director, Bob Schurmeier, named Blackwood to the SBI Center for the Analysis of Police Use of Force in 2020. He also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice.
Sheriff Blackwood has done much work at the State and local levels in insuring for the safety of children in our schools. He serves on the Orange County Behavioral Health Task Force, the Jail Mental Health Workgroup, and the Orange County Racial Justice Task Force. He currently works at both the state and local level on committees addressing bail and bond reform. He is an advocate of the recovery community and works tirelessly to examine and develop innovative ways to address the opioid epidemic, drug misuse and mental illness, and received the Dogwood Award from Attorney General Josh Stein for his work in these areas. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine by then Governor Beverly Perdue.