Sheriff EC Harris officially announces his retirement

Published 7:50 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

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Suffolk Sheriff E.C. Harris confirmed he is officially retiring after 42 years in law enforcement. 

Before serving as Sheriff in 2017, Harris joined the Suffolk Police Department as a Police Officer in 1987, where he also served as a Central Records Desk Officer and Detective. In 2005, Harris joined the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, where he served as Chief Investigator, Part-time Investigator, and Deputy Sheriff. In 2014, Harris joined the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office as Chief Deputy before becoming elected as Sheriff. Harris is a 1980 Northampton High School graduate and served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army from 1982-1985.

Harris says the decision to retire has been planned for “quite a long time.”

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“I’ve got 42 years in law enforcement – the vast, vast majority here with the City of Suffolk. It has been a rewarding career for me. I’ve got to know so many people and make so many relationships that will last forever, but it’s time for me to step aside and focus on my family and enjoy retirement and quiet time because the law enforcement profession takes so much energy and so much time and work that you unfortunately cannot have the time that you need for your family and your friends and for things that you want to do yourself,” Harris said. “I’ve tried to make sure that I poured myself into Suffolk and the citizens of Suffolk, and now it’s time for me to step back and take that energy and pour it into my family, which they definitely deserve it and I am going to do that.”

Miles will assume the responsibilities of Sheriff effective Monday, July 1. Miles calls Harris’ announcement “bittersweet.”

“You can’t find a more committed servant than E.C. Harris and all of us here have had the privilege of serving under him for just under two terms, and it is well deserved,” Miles said. “After 42 years, it’s time for him to enjoy retirement and pass the baton.”

Miles likewise says that thank you “just doesn’t seem to be enough” for what he has done for Suffolk and the Sheriff’s Office.

“Anybody who knows him knows he has a heart of gold and is a giver, and he has given himself for so long and it’s going to be difficult entering into these walls with him not being here, but we are what we are today because of what he has committed to this office,” Miles said. “And we all tip our hat to him and say ‘thank you’ for blazing the path that he blazed, and it’s our responsibility to keep going what he started.”

Harris thanked Suffolk residents for their support during his career while giving them a message, reflecting on a conversation he had with Accreditation Manager Pamela Cornell, daughter of Former Sheriff J. Irving Baines.

“And I tell people this all the time and I said it today, in a very small gathering of my staff, that the best Sheriff that the city will ever have is David Miles,” Harris said. “…I truly have no doubt in my mind that David Miles will be the best Sheriff Suffolk has ever had, and they’re blessed to have someone like him stepping in to finish my term, and I would pray and appreciate all the support they could give to him.”