John GuardChief DeputyPitt County Sheriff’s Office
John Guard is a Chief Deputy with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office in Greenville, North Carolina, with over 28 years of experience, including line level response, investigative response, first and second level supervision, and agency management. For almost two and a half decades, he has specialized in investigating domestic violence cases. He has been instrumental in developing policies and procedures related to domestic violence response in Pitt County and the State of North Carolina. Chief Guard consulted on the creation of state legislation for domestic violence response, including House Bill 1354, which granted powers of arrest to law enforcement for violations of pretrial release, mandated law enforcement training, and elevated strangulation to a felony crime.
Additionally, Chief Guard has developed and implemented several innovative programs designed to increase victim safety and offender accountability. After the 2004 Crawford v. Washington Supreme Court decision, which reformulated the standard for determining when hearsay statements can be admitted in criminal cases, he changed the investigative practices of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Prevention Unit to include the use of electronic monitoring for domestic violence offenders, increased focus on witness intimidation in intimate partner violence, and utilization of the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) at all domestic violence calls.
Throughout his career, Chief Guard has trained law enforcement officers and other allied professionals on the dynamics and nuances of domestic violence from both a law enforcement and a social justice perspective; worked with victims as a law enforcement officer and as a victim advocate; and provided information to the community members regarding domestic violence. Many of these programs have been replicated by other agencies across the country.
Chief Guard has received numerous awards for his efforts related to domestic violence prevention, including awards from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Sunshine Lady Foundation, and the Office for Victims of Crime.