Sheriff Earl R. “MOOSE” Butler


Sheriff Butler was born in Robeson County and raised in  Cumberland County. He married Julia S. Butler in 1963, who is now a retired Cumberland County School Teacher. They have two children, Karen Sykes and Earl Butler Jr. and two grandchildren.

Sheriff Butler graduated from Massey Hill High School in 1956. Butler, who was affectionately nicknamed the “Moose” by fellow members of the school's football team, was selected to the National High School All-American Football Team in 1955.  He furthered his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill in 1960.  Butler was a member of UNC’s football team from 1956 through 1960 and was selected to the N.C. College All-Star team in 1960.  Butler went on to play football with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ football team in 1960 until an injury sidelined his athletic career. 

Sheriff Butler was employed by Associates Discount Corporation from 1960 until 1963.  He was later hired by the Cumberland County School System in 1964 as a teacher,  guidance counselor, and social worker until 1967.  In 1967 Butler was hired with the State of North Carolina as a probation/parole officer and was promoted to branch manager in 1975.   Sheriff Butler retired from N.C. Probation and Parole in 1994 when he was elected Sheriff of Cumberland County. 

Sheriff Butler is a registered Democrat.  His civic and social activities include Masons, N.C. High School Athletic Officials Association, Knights of Pythias, Board Member of the Myrover- Reese Home, N.C. Probation Officers Association, N.C. State Employees Association, American Correctional Association, Region M Council of Government, N.C. Sheriffs’ Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, and Southern States Correction Association.     

Sheriff Butler was appointed to the Governor’s Crime Commission in 1997.  He was elected as Second Vice President of the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association in June 1999.   In June 2000, he became the First Vice President of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association and in June 2001 became the President of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.  Currently, Sheriff Butler serves on the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.

Sheriff Butler is a member of Massey Hill Baptist Church.  He has held the offices of Sunday School Director, Deacon, Trustee, Sunday School Teacher, and Adult Department Director.