The death of Mooresville Police Officer Jordan Sheldon has raised more questions about the safety of the department.
In an exclusive interview with NBC Charlotte anchor Sarah French, Sheldon’s mother, sister, and brother said he was worried about not having appropriate backup along with missing and malfunctioning equipment
“He never complained about anything, so for him to say that, it really put it on our radar,” his mom, Susan Ledford, said.
The family says Sheldon was so worried that he testified along with nearly three-quarters of the officers on staff at the Mooresville Police Department as part of an investigation that began in February sparked by complaints of a hostile work environment.
“He wasn't sure how it would be received, but he knew it was the right thing to do,” sister Lauren Sheldon said.
“I think it speaks of the culture then. Why they felt the need to go down there,” Interim Mooresville Police Chief Ron Campurciani said.
Campurciani has been reviewing the department since chief Damon Williams was suspended with pay in June, one month after Sheldon's death. Campurciani couldn't comment on the investigation but admits there were multiple issues.
“When I came down here it was clear that the structure of the police department, the command structure set up wasn't working,” Campurciani said.
The family has been requesting Sheldon’s testimony transcript from that investigation since August. As soon as NBC Charlotte started asking for answers, the family was told Susan Ledford could come in and view the transcript. However, they cannot have a copy.
Mooresville's town attorney told NBC Charlotte in an email, "Since the document constitutes confidential personnel information, the town is prohibited from releasing it."
“I think when he gave that interview he thought something would be done about all of these issues,” Susan Ledford said. “I think he thought all of this would be corrected.”
NBC Charlotte obtained testimony from other Mooresville police officers. One stated, "Many of these issues cause me great concern when it comes to my personal safety, especially the department failure to train and failure to provide equipment that works."
Another officer's testimony stated, "This agency needs help. I am not the only one that fears for my safety."
“It was just like the perfect storm. Bad storm. Where everything seemed to happen at once,” Campurciani said.
He has already changed department policy regarding backup. It’s now required that two officers are dispatched to each call. He expects there will be more changes to come
When asked if the Sheldon family felt like their concerns were heard, Lauren Sheldon responded, “I think we would like an investigation into what happened within the department that night. What could be changed, what could they learn from this incident.”
“We don't know that Jordan would be here if all of that was fixed,” Susan Ledford said. “All of this still might have happened.”
“Police officers already have a notoriously dangerous job and they shouldn't have this worry from their own department that they may not have what they need or it may not work correctly,” brother Carson Ledford said.