RALEIGH — Stokes and Surry County Judge William F. Southern III was recently appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission.
“It was an honor to be considered by the Chief Justice (Mark Martin) and the governor,” said Southern, a former assistant district attorney who has served as a District Court judge in District 17B since 2008. “I’m very much looking forward to participating.”
Created in 1968, the commission serves as the chief advisory body to the governor and the secretary of the Department of Public Safety on crime and justice issues.
The 44-member group also makes grant recommendations for innovative programs aimed at reducing crime.
Southern joins current member R.F. “Buck” Golding, a Surry County commissioner, as well as the heads of statewide criminal justice and human service agencies, representatives from the courts, law enforcement, local government, the General Assembly, non-profit agencies, private citizens and youth representatives
Southern said his primary contribution to the group will be his experience as a certified Juvenile Court judge, since unique issues stem from situations such as juvenile delinquency or abuse and neglect.
“I don’t know if it’s as much change as awareness that’s needed on juvenile issues, in the courtroom and in the community,” he said.
“You want to look years down the road to affect a positive outcome. The juvenile benefits and we as a society improve.”
Southern will begin attending the commission’s quarterly meetings in Raleigh in December.
“Court can be a difficult place for anyone,” he said. “Looking at how we can improve efficiency and raise awareness helps us to improve statewide.”
Terri Flagg can be reached at 415-4734.