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John E. Guard, IV

2021 Award for First Responders | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

John E. Guard, IV | Award for First Responders
Pitt County Sheriff's Office
Greenville, North Carolina

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. 

Legislators and victim advocates have consulted Chief Guard on the creation of state legislation for domestic violence response, including House Bill 1354, which granted powers of arrest to law enforcement for violation of pretrial release, mandated law enforcement training, and elevated strangulation to a felony crime; and Senate Bill 919, which provides stronger firearm removal provisions for offenders who are subject to a domestic violence protection order. 

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 at all domestic violence calls. 

Throughout his career, Chief Guard has trained law enforcement officers and other allied professionals on the dynamics of domestic violence from a law enforcement and social justice perspective; worked with victims as an officer and a victim advocate; and provided information to the community regarding domestic violence. 

Many programs he developed have been replicated by other agencies across the country, including the Johnson County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office replication of a pre-trial electronic monitoring program for domestic violence and sexual assault offenders. 

Chief Guard serves as the chair of the Pitt Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team and was instrumental in its creation. He is a past member and Chair of the Law Enforcement Policy Committee of the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission, and a past member and Executive Board President of the North Carolina Victim’s Assistance Network. 

Chief Guard has received numerous awards for his efforts related to domestic violence prevention, including awards from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the North Carolina Victims Assistance Network.

2021 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about John E. Guard, IV, 2021 recipient of the Award for First Responders.