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Hello, I'm Donnie Harrison

Portrait of Donnie Harrison

Leadership in the Spirit of Service

Donnie Harrison was first elected Sheriff of Wake County in 2002, was reelected to a second term in 2006, third term in 2010 and fourth term in 2014. Harrison was the first certified law enforcement officer to be elected Sheriff in Wake County. Before serving Wake County as its Sheriff, Harrison served on the North Carolina Highway Patrol in Wake County for 26 years. In addition to patrolling Wake County, Harrison taught numerous courses at the Highway Patrol Academy and served as Chief of Security for the Lieutenant Governor from 1988-92. During his tenure with the Patrol, he was certified and trained in numerous areas of crime prevention and law enforcement. 


Harrison has also been recognized as one of Wake County’s top canine search and rescue handlers. He trained his own dogs and voluntarily offered his services to find lost Alzheimer’s patients, lost children and to track down criminal suspects for local law enforcement agencies.


While law enforcement has been an integral part of Harrison’s life, it has not been his only interest. He has served as a volunteer firefighter, a youth softball coach and was a highly respected high school and college basketball official.


As Sheriff, Harrison was a hands-on Sheriff, working the roads with his deputies, showing up at calls, checking in with the detention staff, going on drug raids, and accompanying detectives as they investigated cases.  Harrison is also known for his accessibility to the public.

“I always said I would be a working Sheriff, out there with our employees,” Harrison says. “With over 53 years of law enforcement experience, I’ve been there and know what they face. I wanted them to know that I love law enforcement just as they did, and I was proud to work side by side with them.”

Donnie Harrison has the rare distinction of having received the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine not once but three times; first being so honored by Governor Bob Scott (1972), Governor Jim Martin (1992) and Governor Pat McCrory (2015). The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is one of most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina recognizing individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities, exhibited extra efforts in their careers, and served their organizations for many years. Receiving this award three times is practically unheard of.


Donnie Harrison grew up in Bear Grass, North Carolina and currently lives in Garner, NC. He is a member of Holland United Methodist church. He has two daughters, one granddaughter and one grandson.

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