Elizabeth City Police Chief Eddie Buffaloe officiates a basketball game between Northeastern and Edenton, Tuesday, Jan. 22. staff photo by brett a. clark
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Brett A. Clark

Elizabeth City Police Chief Eddie Buffaloe officiates a basketball game between Northeastern and Edenton, Tuesday, Jan. 22. staff photo by brett a. clark

Chief Buffaloe finds calling as public servant

By Robert Kelly - Goss

The Daily Advance

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Eddie Buffaloe Jr., has followed the path of public service for as long as he can remember. It was a calling that he observed in his father.

In December, Buffaloe began work as Elizabeth City’s new Chief of Police, bringing his career, ambitions and focus on public service to the River City — where he found the hospitality to be “overwhelming.” In an interview last week, he answered several questions about police work and his life.

Buffaloe came to Elizabeth City from Enfield in Halifax County. He was chief of police in that small town, but according to articles in the Roanoke Rapids newspaper, he was much more than that. Buffaloe was a high school sports official, a funeral home director and even Enfield’s interim town administrator. According to news accounts, people in the Halifax County town say their loss is Elizabeth City’s gain.

Much has been reported about Buffaloe’s background in law enforcement, but there’s more to the city’s new top cop. Here’s what we leared about Buffaloe and his thoughts on being in Elizabeth City.

The Daily Advance: You’ve been in Elizabeth City since December. Has your family settled in yet? How do you all like your new home?

Eddie Buffaloe: My family hasn’t moved yet. But the times they’ve been here, they’ve been impressed and the hospitality is overwhelming.

TDA: What was your first impression of Elizabeth City?

EB: Warm and a lot to offer from an educational standpoint — and being a bedroom community to the outlying area of Virginia.

TDA: In the short time that you’ve been here, what have you observed as Elizabeth City’s greatest weakness and greatest strength?

EB: I think the strength is the foundation of the institutions of higher education — ECSU, MACU, COA and our public school system. The weakness, like any other city, is property crimes. I’m talking about breaking and entering, vandalism, breaking into cars. Those are the biggest crime problems in Elizabeth City.

TDA: In a newspaper article, an Enfield resident stated that you believe in the “broken window” philosophy. What is that and how did you come about it?

EB: She made that (broken window) up, but I believe she was referring to property crimes. I think the people steal because they don’t have. ... We can’t arrest our way out of everything, but if we are proactive to deter crime you see crime decrease. But if you sit back in a reactive mode, it keeps going up or it plateaus.

TDA: You have talked about emphasizing community policing, building and maintaining community trust. How do you plan to build and maintain community trust?

EB: You gotta be part of the community in order to ask for trust and keep trust. That’s everyday. I’m not asking them (police officers) to do anything they haven’t been trained to do. I’m asking them to get to know people in the community.

TDA: Can you tell us about goals as Elizabeth City’s chief of police?

EB: My short-term goal here is to look at the organizational structure and the department analysis reports and take those recommendations and implement those. Long term I want to foster those relationships in the community and hopefully see our crime rate decrease. It’s not bad (Elizabeth City crime rate) if you look at other communities like Henderson.

TDA: While in Enfield you were known for identifying and addressing pressing criminal trends. What have you identified as Elizabeth City’s most pressing criminal trends and how do you plan on addressing them?

EB: It’s still property crime, but I think people for the most part feel safe here. I think we can be a more proactive police department on solving those crimes and educating the public on locking their vehicles and homes.

TDA: Many people are concerned with Elizabeth City’s gang problem. What will you do to address this problem?

EB: It is a problem. These are young men and women who are making bad decisions and creating criminal activities and we are going to address it through enforcement; also through

community partnerships. So we are taking a two-pronged approach. Those who want help will get help. Those who don’t (want help), we’re going to take enforcement measures.

TDA: Your father was a police chief and still works as a bailiff. How much did he influence your decision to enter law enforcement?

EB: When I was born he was a cop. I don’t think he had any other clothes than his uniform. He was a big influence because you see your dad helping people. You realize he was a public servant. That was a big influence, seeing that he was a public servant.

TDA: In a 2010 news story, your son Bryan was quoted as saying that you are his role model. What makes a good role model in today’s world? What are our responsibilities to our children?

EB: Our responsibility is the care, the custody and the control of our children. We have to care for our children everyday. I have to base my training on my father. I think a good role model is positive interaction and positive reaction. A good role model is a positive influence.

TDA: You worked as a high school sports official when you were the chief in Enfield. Do you plan to continue this? What will you do to work directly with the area’s youth?

EB: I do plan on continuing. I may also look at dropping one sport due to the magnitude of this job. It (sports officiating) is a segue into working with youth.

TDA: You worked as a funeral home director while you were chief of police in Enfield. Why did you choose this as a sideline and do you plan to continue this work?

EB: I had a friend of mine who introduced me into funeral service. It was a form of service to families in a time of sorrow. I find this was a way of providing service and not only service but a celebration of life. I’m looking at that more once I retire.

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In many cases this is not an indication of an actual problem with the server itself but rather a problem with the information the server has been instructed to access or return as a result of the request. This error is often caused by an issue on your site which may require additional review by our support teams.

Our support staff will be happy to assist you in resolving this issue. Please contact our Live Support or reply to any Tickets you may have received from our technicians for further assistance.

Is there anything that I can do?

There are a few common causes for this error code including problems with the individual script that may be executed upon request. Some of these are easier to spot and correct than others.

File and Directory Ownership

The server you are on runs applications in a very specific way in most cases. The server generally expects files and directories be owned by your specific user cPanel user. If you have made changes to the file ownership on your own through SSH please reset the Owner and Group appropriately.

File and Directory Permissions

The server you are on runs applications in a very specific way in most cases. The server generally expects files such as HTML, Images, and other media to have a permission mode of 644. The server also expects the permission mode on directories to be set to 755 in most cases.

(See the Section on Understanding Filesystem Permissions.)

Command Syntax Errors in .htaccess file

In the .htaccess file, you may have added lines that are conflicting with each other or that are not allowed.

If you would like to check a specific rule in your .htaccess file you can comment that specific line in the .htaccess by adding # to the beginning of the line. You should always make a backup of this file before you start making changes.

For example, if the .htaccess looks like

DirectoryIndex default.html
AddType application/x-httpd-php5 php

Then try something like this

DirectoryIndex default.html
#AddType application/x-httpd-php5 php

Note: Due to the way in which our server environments are setup you may not use php_value arguments in a .htaccess file.

Exceeded Process Limits

It is possible that this error is caused by having too many processes in the server queue for your individual account. Every account on our server may only have 25 simultaneous processes active at any point in time whether they are related to your site or other processes owned by your user such as mail.

With SSH (shell) access, you can view the processes running on your account. Simply type this command:

ps faux

Or type this to view a specific user's account (be sure to replace username with the actual username):

ps faux |grep username

Once you have the process ID ("pid"), type this to kill the specific process (be sure to replace pid with the actual process ID):

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Our server administrators will be able to advise you on how to avoid this error if it is caused by process limitations. Please contact our Live Support or open a Ticket. Be sure to include the steps needed for our support staff to see the 500 error on your site.

Understanding Filesystem Permissions

Symbolic Representation

The first character indicates the file type and is not related to permissions. The remaining nine characters are in three sets, each representing a class of permissions as three characters. The first set represents the user class. The second set represents the group class. The third set represents the others class.

Each of the three characters represent the read, write, and execute permissions:

  • r if reading is permitted, - if it is not.
  • w if writing is permitted, - if it is not.
  • x if execution is permitted, - if it is not.

The following are some examples of symbolic notation:

  • -rwxr-xr-x a regular file whose user class has full permissions and whose group and others classes have only the read and execute permissions.
  • crw-rw-r-- a character special file whose user and group classes have the read and write permissions and whose others class has only the read permission.
  • dr-x------ a directory whose user class has read and execute permissions and whose group and others classes have no permissions.

Numeric Representation

Another method for representing permissions is an octal (base-8) notation as shown. This notation consists of at least three digits. Each of the three rightmost digits represents a different component of the permissions: user, group, and others.

Each of these digits is the sum of its component bits As a result, specific bits add to the sum as it is represented by a numeral:

  • The read bit adds 4 to its total (in binary 100),
  • The write bit adds 2 to its total (in binary 010), and
  • The execute bit adds 1 to its total (in binary 001).

These values never produce ambiguous combinations. each sum represents a specific set of permissions. More technically, this is an octal representation of a bit field – each bit references a separate permission, and grouping 3 bits at a time in octal corresponds to grouping these permissions by user, group, and others.

Permission mode 0755

4+2+1=7
Read, Write, eXecute
4+1=5
Read, eXecute
4+1=5
Read, eXecute

Permission mode 0644

4+2=6
Read, Write
4
Read
4
Read

How to modify your .htaccess file

The .htaccess file contains directives (instructions) that tell the server how to behave in certain scenarios and directly affect how your website functions.

Redirects and rewriting URLs are two very common directives found in a .htaccess file, and many scripts such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento add directives to the .htaccess so those scripts can function.

It is possible that you may need to edit the .htaccess file at some point, for various reasons.This section covers how to edit the file in cPanel, but not what may need to be changed.(You may need to consult other articles and resources for that information.)

There are Many Ways to Edit a .htaccess File

  • Edit the file on your computer and upload it to the server via FTP
  • Use an FTP program's Edit Mode
  • Use SSH and a text editor
  • Use the File Manager in cPanel

The easiest way to edit a .htaccess file for most people is through the File Manager in cPanel.

How to Edit .htaccess files in cPanel's File Manager

Before you do anything, it is suggested that you backup your website so that you can revert back to a previous version if something goes wrong.

Open the File Manager

  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Files section, click on the File Manager icon.
  3. Check the box for Document Root for and select the domain name you wish to access from the drop-down menu.
  4. Make sure Show Hidden Files (dotfiles)" is checked.
  5. Click Go. The File Manager will open in a new tab or window.
  6. Look for the .htaccess file in the list of files. You may need to scroll to find it.

To Edit the .htaccess File

  1. Right click on the .htaccess file and click Code Edit from the menu. Alternatively, you can click on the icon for the .htaccess file and then click on the Code Editor icon at the top of the page.
  2. A dialogue box may appear asking you about encoding. Just click Edit to continue. The editor will open in a new window.
  3. Edit the file as needed.
  4. Click Save Changes in the upper right hand corner when done. The changes will be saved.
  5. Test your website to make sure your changes were successfully saved. If not, correct the error or revert back to the previous version until your site works again.
  6. Once complete, you can click Close to close the File Manager window.

How to modify file and directory permissions

The permissions on a file or directory tell the server how in what ways it should be able to interact with a file or directory.

This section covers how to edit the file permissions in cPanel, but not what may need to be changed.(See the section on what you can do for more information.)

There are Many Ways to Edit a File Permissions

  • Use an FTP program
  • Use SSH and a text editor
  • Use the File Manager in cPanel

The easiest way to edit file permissions for most people is through the File Manager in cPanel.

How to Edit file permissions in cPanel's File Manager

Before you do anything, it is suggested that you backup your website so that you can revert back to a previous version if something goes wrong.

Open the File Manager

  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Files section, click on the File Manager icon.
  3. Check the box for Document Root for and select the domain name you wish to access from the drop-down menu.
  4. Make sure Show Hidden Files (dotfiles)" is checked.
  5. Click Go. The File Manager will open in a new tab or window.
  6. Look for the file or directory in the list of files. You may need to scroll to find it.

To Edit the Permissions

  1. Right click on the file or directory and click Change Permissions from the menu.
  2. A dialogue box should appear allowing you to select the correct permissions or use the numerical value to set the correct permissions.
  3. Edit the file permissions as needed.
  4. Click Change Permissions in the lower left hand corner when done. The changes will be saved.
  5. Test your website to make sure your changes were successfully saved. If not, correct the error or revert back to the previous version until your site works again.
  6. Once complete, you can click Close to close the File Manager window.
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