Law Day became a full-circle moment for 2022 Eury Award recipient
Published on May 07, 2022
The Law Officer’s Memorial in downtown Concord is usually a quiet place. It’s nestled between the Sheriff’s Office and Government Center in downtown Concord. Today, it was the center of activity as local officers and the community gathered for Law Day—a ceremony at which the community pays tribute to an outstanding veteran officer and memorializes local officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Cabarrus County Sheriff Van Shaw began the event with a special surprise recognition of the 2022 Robert J. Eury Memorial Award honoree, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy James Bailey.
Eury, a Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Deputy, was killed in the line of duty on May 5, 1972.
The prestigious award dedicated to Eury’s honor is presented annually to an officer with at least 20 years of experience who demonstrates true commitment to law enforcement and service to the community.
Chief Deputy Bailey began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in 1995 as a sworn deputy assigned to the Cabarrus County Detention Center. Two years later, Bailey was assigned to the patrol division where he was promoted to Sergeant in 2002 and Lieutenant in 2006. Sheriff Shaw named him Chief Deputy in 2018.
Outside of his work as a deputy, Bailey has served the community through the Allen-Graham Masonic Lodge #695, Oasis Shrine, Cabarrus Shrine Club and Cabarrus County Republican Party Executive Committee. He is also an active member, and serves in leadership and volunteer roles at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church.
“This award really goes to all the men and women I’ve served with over the years,” Bailey said. “As we can see from the monument behind us, patrol is a dangerous job. Those guys and gals deserve all the credit in the world. I have a fantastic staff—everything I ask them to do, they do it with a smile. And my wife and family are here—I’m just happy to receive this.”
Bailey shared how a Cabarrus County deputy changed the course of his life.
During summers between college semesters, Bailey built rapport with the deputy. Year after year, the deputy would encourage him to pursue a career in law enforcement. Bailey eventually took him up on the offer and joined the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, where he’s served for 27 years.
“That deputy was Chief Deputy Jim Griggs,” Bailey shared as he pointed to a man in the crowd. “He is the son-in-law of Robert Eury and now I’m receiving this award.”
Jim Griggs proudly looked on as his recruit accepted the award and shared their story. He was sitting beside his wife, Ann—daughter to Lt. Robert J. Eury—who is a retired City of Concord Police Officer; and their daughter, Mackenzie Griggs, a current Sheriff’s Office telecommunicator.
In his keynote address, Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Chair Steve Morris congratulated Chief Deputy Bailey and shared his deep appreciation for local officers.
He spoke about the Board’s responsibility for making important decisions that impact the funding and direction of the Sheriff’s Office and how that relationship has taught him about the impressive ways local law enforcement agencies serve our community.
He shared examples of how the Sheriff’s Office, and Concord and Kannapolis police departments are proactive, prepared, visible, collaborative, and make community connections.
“You do all this with compassion,” Morris said. “You see the people beneath the problem. You work for long-term solutions instead of the short-term fix.
“It’s an honor to stand here today as a representative of our community and thank you for what you do. It is a sentiment that can never be expressed enough.”
The ceremony concluded with a special White Rose Ceremony paying tribute to those listed on the memorial, a 21-gun salute by the Kannapolis Police Rifle Team and “Taps” performed by Cory Kluttz of the Kannapolis Police Department. Cabarrus County Fire Marshall Drew Barkley and Officer Dallas Hurley of the Concord Police Department then played a bagpipe recessional of “Amazing Grace.”
Since 1899, seven law enforcement officers lost their lives serving Cabarrus residents in the line of duty:
William J. Kearns: Concord Police Department, September 2, 1899
William F. Propst: Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, November 17, 1922
Martin R. Kiser: Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, March 3, 1931
Robert J. Eury: Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, May 5, 1972
Roger D. Carter: Kannapolis Police Department, December 31, 1993
Jackie L. Daniel: NC DMV, July 28, 1994
Jason N. Shuping: Concord, Police Department, December 16, 2020
The 2022 Law Day event will air on Cabarrus County Television, Spectrum Cable Channel 22, every day of May at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. beginning Saturday, May 7. The public can watch on demand at youtube.com/cabarruscounty or Facebook.com/CabarrusCounty.