Family Life and Values
I was born and raised here in Durham. My beliefs are greatly centered around the way I was raised with three sisters. My mom and dad had a small farm on Wake Forest Highway where I grew up. We moved there when I was around nine years old. We learned how to raise a garden, work in the garden, and have food for the winter.
My father loved animals. We had horses, cows, and Shetland ponies. We nurtured, fed and yes, located these pets when they would someway find their way out of a fenced area. Locating or finding an animal and then getting it back to an enclosed pasture was a chore in itself, but the job did not get done unless you did it. Our parents worked hard to provide for us and sometimes worked overtime or multiple jobs. We understood and experienced responsibility. We understood going to church and showing and displaying care and compassion for others. Both our mom and dad exemplified this.
My father owned and operated a small café in East Durham for 35 years and I helped do many things, from washing dishes to waiting tables and preparing food. My father was a conversational person and loved speaking with everyone he encountered. We all had many conversations with great people who visited Andrews Kountry Kitchen. I learned the value of helping those that did not have anything and to go the extra mile. I also learned that there are not any free things in life, but it did not cost a nickel to be good to people.
My parents taught responsibility, hard work, and compassion. I attempt daily in honor of my parents to show compassion for someone. There are many things I am blessed with but I will never forget where and how I was raised. I have tried to instill those same values in my son, and apply them during my career in the Sheriff’s Office.
Since joining the Sheriff’s Office I have worked my way through every division including Communications and the Detention Facility back when it was on the seventh floor of the old Courthouse. Working in the Detention Facility was a tremendous education in people and helped me realize that while there are some dedicated criminals, there are also people who have gotten into difficult circumstances, people who have made poor choices but can learn from them, and some people who need to receive mental health services, not be part of the criminal justice system.
That knowledge reinforced the lessons of my parents and carried with me as I became a patrol deputy, a detective, and a supervisor of many divisions, to include Training, Patrol, the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort, eventually being selected to serve as the Major for Operations. I then had the honor of being selected to serve as Chief Deputy and then Sheriff.
During my years with the Sheriff’s Office I have been afforded many opportunities to be part of new initiatives and receive specialized training. I helped start the Search and Recovery Team which provides a specialized service to not only the residents of Durham, but also other law enforcement agencies across the State.
I also had the honor of being chosen by Sheriff Worth Hill to attend the FBI National Academy, an intensive management training program for law enforcement executives from across the country and around the world. It provided me with an awareness of best management practices for law enforcement and helped me make friends from around the world. This experience reinforced something I have always valued, the working relationship we have with surrounding agencies. Working in Durham when a shift might consist of only three Deputies I learned early on the need for agencies to work together. It also was a practical lesson in my family values of how you needed to treat people, and looking for ways to achieve understanding and cooperation from someone who may not want to do as they are told. Those experiences, working when the Office was much smaller and then attending the National Academy, have proven to me that sharing information and resources is essential to good law enforcement, and sound fiscal management. I continue to pursue those opportunities whenever possible, and to provide leadership training to personnel which will help them grow, and provide us with new ideas and approaches to effective law enforcement.
I hope that this has helped you better understand where I come from, and where I hope to lead the Sheriff’s Office in the future. Thank you for your time, and I hope your support.
Sheriff Mike Andrews has worked for more than 32 years with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and has served as sheriff since January 2012. Prior to being appointed sheriff—following Sheriff Worth Hill’s mid-term retirement—Sheriff Andrews worked in various assignments including investigations, training, patrol and operations. Sheriff Andrews is also a founding member of the Sheriff’s Search and Recovery team and a former member of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team. He is a certified general and specialized instructor and educated new recruits during training academies for several years.
Sheriff Andrews holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certification from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission. Andrews avidly supports giving back to the community and has donated his time and efforts to the Alzheimer’s Association, NC Special Olympics, Animal Protection Society, Wounded Warrior Project, and Cancer Awareness organizations. He strongly believes such initiatives are vital for the youth that represent the future of our country and is dedicated to making Durham County a safe place to live, work, and thrive. Andrew’s wife Pam has been a Durham Public Shools teacher for the past 30 years and they have one son Brett.