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.
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