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Chief Deputy 

Major Ryan Dawson is the Chief Deputy for Lenoir County and he is responsible for all administrative and business procedures of the Sheriff's Office.  He oversees the other operational divisions that are led by Captains of the Sheriff's Office.


Major Dawson comes from a line of community servants following in the footsteps of his Grandfather and Father who both worked and retired from the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office. Major Dawson began serving his community at the age of 14 with the Sandy Bottom Volunteer Fire Department as a Junior Firefighter.  He served in many roles including Firefighter, EMT, Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief of the Fire Department. Major Dawson is an active member and line officer with North Lenoir Volunteer Fire & Rescue where he has been appointed as a Captain.  


 After high school, Major Dawson attended Lenoir Community College and later transferred to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in psychology.  As part of his education, he completed an unpaid internship with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations working in the Northeastern District Field Office working along side special agents conducting investigations for murders, major crimes, narcotics and fire investigations.


Major Dawson completed Basic Law Enforcement Training at Lenoir Community College where he served as the Class President and began his career with the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office in December 2003. While working at the Sheriff's Office, Major Dawson has served as a Detention Officer, Court Deputy, Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer, SRT Operator, Detective, Sergeant, Crime Reduction Team.  In 2013, he was appointed as a Major with the Sheriff's Office where he continues to serve. 


Major Dawson believes in a continuation of training for the Office and himself.  Since becoming a Major, he has received training as a CVSA (Lie Detector) Operator, Nationally Certified Internal Affairs Investigation Supervisor and over 300 hours of training in Critical Incident Management.  He also attended and graduated from the Law Enforcement Executive Program at North Carolian State University in Raleigh, NC.  

Major Dawson is married with two children.  He and his family attend 902 Church in Kinston.


Awards and Recognitions:

  • Medal of Valor

  • Law Enforcement Purple Heart

  • Intermediate Law Enforcement Certification

  • Advanced Law Enforcement Certification

  • Certified Internal Affairs Supervisor

  • Kinston Free Press Top "20 under 40"

  • NC Fraternal Order of Police Officer of the Year Award

  • National Fraternal Order of Police Jack Dudek Nominee

  • Woodman of the World Honor and Valor award

  • Commendation from North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue

  • 2019 Wheat Swamp Ruitian Citizen of the Year

  • Member of the NC Emergency Management Eastern Branch Incident Management Team

  • Member of the NC Emergency Management Domestic Preparedness Region 2 Board

  • Credentialed FEMA NIMS Task Force Leader

  • Credentialed FEMA NIMS Division Supervisor

  • Credentialed FEMA NIMS Liaison Officer

  • Credentialed FEMA NIMS Operations Section Chief

  • Credentialed FEMA NIMS Incident Commander

  • Graduate of the Law Enforcement Executive Program from North Carolina State University

  • Certified CVSA Examiner

  • NC Criminal Justice General Instructor 

  • FEMA NIMS Instructor

  • Member of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council for Lenoir County

         Contact Major Dawson              

(252) 559-6100

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