Beickert sworn in as Currituck sheriff
By William F. West
Friday, June 1, 2018
CURRITUCK — For the first time in nearly two decades, Currituck County has a new sheriff.
Matt Beickert, 48, was sworn in Friday as Currituck’s top law enforcement official at the Currituck Judicial Center. Administering the oath of office to Beickert was Currituck Clerk of Superior Court Ray Matusko.
Beickert succeeds Susan Johnson, whose retirement took effect on Thursday. Johnson, who did not seek re-election, had been Currituck’s sheriff since 2000.
Johnson, the last elected Democratic officeholder in Currituck, endorsed Beickert, her chief deputy, in the Republican primary on May 8. Beickert went on to defeat retired Norfolk police officer Bob Douros in the primary.
A little more than a week after Beickert’s victory, Johnson announced that she planned to retire early. Johnson, 63, said she was ready to spend more time with her family.
Meeting on May 21, the Currituck Board of Commissioners appointed Beickert to complete the remainder of Johnson's four-year term, which ends later this year.
In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Beickert, Johnson’s chief deputy since 2011, said he felt good about taking over as sheriff.
"It's rewarding, but I'm just getting started,” he said. “I've got a long ways to go and I just want to keep grounded about it and keep real humble about it — and work real hard."
He said Johnson has been real supportive and helpful as he prepared for his new role.
"Of course she has been giving me advice over the last few weeks and then we've had a lot of talks," he said.
Asked if Johnson had given him any last words before she left the Sheriff’s Office, Beickert said she offered him some important advice.
"She was confident that I would do a good job, but then she let me know she was there if I needed anything, and to reach out to other sheriffs — and just put the community and the employees first," he said.
Beickert said Johnson also spoke to each employee in the sheriff's office before she departed on Thursday. He said deputies, county officials and citizens had stopped by the sheriff's office in recent days to wish her well.
Beickert said Jeff Walker, who had been serving as a shift sergeant, will serve as his chief deputy. Matusko swore in Walker for that role on Friday. He also swore in David Castelow and Jaymes Holden as captains in the department.
Like Johnson, Beickert rose through the ranks at the Currituck Sheriff's Office. After being hired as a deputy in 1997, he went on to serve as a detective, investigator, lieutenant and an administrative lieutenant.
Because no Democrat filed to run for sheriff in the November general election, Beickert will be elected to a full four-year term this fall.