The Command Staff is responsible for the day to day operations of each division within the Sheriff’s Office making sure that each Division Commander has the necessary resources and tools required to effectively operate that division. They work closely with the Sheriff and Chief Deputy on all matters concerning the the safety and well being of the citizens within Brunswick County as well making sure the staff of the Brunswick County Sheriff have the training, mindset, skills and equipment to effectively carry out their duties.

Lieutenant Colonel Laurie Watson

Command Staff

In 2000, Lt. Colonel Watson began her career with New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office as a sworn Deputy Sheriff. In September 2001, she was hired by The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time Patrol Deputy. In December 2002, she was promoted to the rank of Detective assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit. Lt. Col. Watson remained in the Detective Division until October 2008 when she was promoted to Corporal in the Uniform Patrol Division. While serving in the Uniform Patrol Division between 2008 and 2012, she was promoted through the ranks up to Captain. In 2012, she was assigned as the Captain over Uniform Patrol and the Criminal Investigative Unit. In 2015, she was assigned as the Captain over the Criminal Investigative Unit and Vice/Narcotics Unit. Watson was promoted to the rank of Major in 2016. Lt Colonel Watson is a graduate of the Department of Homeland Security Leadership Academy, class of 2018. Throughout her tenure as Major she served in every division within our agency with the exception of the Detention Center.

In March 2021, Sheriff Ingram promoted Watson to the position of Lieutenant Colonel. Affectionately referred to as “LTC”, Watson is one of the most vital and dedicated members of our BCSO family. She currently oversees the day to day operations of the Sheriff Office in addition to supervising four Majors, the IT division, Civil and Warrant division, I.M.P.A.C.T. & Recruiting team, and the Volunteer program.

  • Serving Since:2000

Major Tommy Tolley

Command Staff

Major Thomas Tolley began his law enforcement career in 1995. After serving with the Leland Police Department and Carolina Beach Police Department, Major Tolley joined the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office as a Road Patrol Deputy in 1999.

After demonstrating a talent and passion for working with and training canines, Major Tolley was promoted to Sergeant over the Canine Unit, supervising and training multiple handlers and their canine partners. In 2008, Major Tolley was promoted to First Sergeant over Special Operations and Crime Prevention. In 2012, Major Tolley was selected to supervise the tedious transition of Animal Services from the Brunswick County Health Department, to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Major Tolley’s hard work and success at Animal Protective Services earned him the rank of Lieutenant in 2016. In 2017, Major Tolley was promoted to the rank of Captain and returned to his career roots supervising Road Patrol and other uniformed services at the Sheriff’s Office including the Marine Patrol Unit.

In January of 2018, he was promoted to his current rank of Major. Since that promotion, Major Tolley has had the opportunity to oversee the Criminal Investigations Unit, the Narcotics Unit, and most recently, the Detention Facility and Courthouse Operations.  The inclusion of these divisions has meant Major Tolley has experience in every division of the Sheriff’s Office, with the exception of 911 Communications.

  • Serving Since:1999

Major Steve Lanier

Command Staff

In 1999, Stephen Lanier began his law enforcement career with the Shallotte Police Department, serving as an auxiliary patrol officer. On August 22nd 2000, Lanier was sworn in as a full-time patrol deputy with the Sheriff’s Office. Early in his career, Lanier found a passion for drug investigations and was soon promoted to Drug Agent in early 2001. Major Lanier worked as a Drug Agent for five years until being promoted to the rank of Sergeant within the Vice and Narcotics Unit. During that time, Lanier spent nearly three years with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, stationed in Wilmington, NC. After serving as a Task Force Officer, Lanier was promoted to Lieutenant of the Vice and Narcotics Unit and soon after rose to the level of Captain within the Investigations Division with responsibilities covering General Investigations and Narcotics. In February of 2020, Sheriff Ingram promoted Lanier to the level of Major where he is currently assigned to Uniform Services.

Throughout his career, Major Lanier has received numerous honors and awards, both on the local and national level. Through the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Major Lanier has earned Master Deputy Status, received several commendations, been awarded for Meritorious and Humanitarian Services and earned the Sheriff’s Office Purple Heart for injuries sustained during an officer-involved shooting in 2001. Major Lanier has also been awarded the National Sheriffs’ Association Medal of Valor and Purple Heart from the same incident. Additionally, Major Lanier received awards and recognition from North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, and a Congressional Certificate of Recognition from Congressman Mike McIntyre. Major Lanier received Local and Regional Honors and was named the Law Enforcement Officer of the year in 2018 by the American Legion. Major Lanier is also a graduate of the United States Department of Homeland Security Leadership Academy.

  • Serving Since:2000

Major Mose Highsmith

Office Attorney

Mose Highsmith literally grew up in law enforcement. He was a founding member of the Explorer Scout Post with the Wilmington Police Department in 1974 at the age of 16. He was hired as a paid Police Cadet in 1977, was sworn as a Police Officer in 1979 and worked as a patrol officer until 1982. Mose then worked at Progress Energy before returning to law school. He also served as a reserve deputy under Sheriff John Carr Davis. Mose attended law school at Campbell University, graduating in 1996, and served in the Attorney General’s Office for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as the Tribal Police Attorney; an Assistant District Attorney in Haywood County, where he served on the domestic violence task force and successfully prosecuted the first marital rape case in North Carolina. He was the Sheriff’s Attorney and Legal Advisor in Henderson County from 2000 until 2005, and was in the private practice of law from 2005 until 2011 before returning to public service.

Mose now serves as the Major of Professional Standards. His duties include providing legal advice and representation to Sheriff Ingram, providing legal advice and assistance to deputies in case preparation, providing assistance on personnel issues, providing appellate case law and legislative updates, contract review, in service training on legal issues, policy and procedure development and review, and other duties as assigned by the Sheriff.

  • Serving Since:2011

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