Capt. Steve Mayor, a 17-year department veteran of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, native of Sanford who lives in Bear Creek, has the official title of Captain, Special Operations, and is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a number of department functions, including court, narcotics, community service and Chatham’s Student Resource Officers, as well as employee recruitment for the Sheriff’s Office.
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There’s definitely more good in this world than bad. (Especially when you get to iron clothes each day.) That’s according to Capt. Steve Mayor of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, a 17-year department veteran who would certainly be in a position to know. Maynor, a native of Sanford who lives in Bear Creek, has the official title of Captain, Special Operations, and is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a number of department functions, including court, narcotics, community service and Chatham’s Student Resource Officers, as well as employee recruitment for the Sheriff’s Office. Maynor is the son of Scott and Gayle Maynor of Sanford. He and his wife, Adrian — who teaches at J.S. Waters Elementary School — have three daughters (Riley, Remi and Rhetta) and an English Mastiff, Phenix. For this week’s Chatham@Work, Mayor talks about why he’s indeed living his dream — even though he wouldn’t describe his life using those exact words.
What’s unique about what you do for a living?
It’s very rewarding. Each day is different and the encounters/contacts with so many different people from your team to strangers you meet in the community... There is definitely more good in this world than there is bad. It’s sad that we as a society allow the bad to overshadow the good.
What was your first paying job, and what did it teach you?
Byrds Food Store in Sanford. Working at Byrds Foods taught me how to communicate with the public, to have understanding in times of disagreements and it takes teamwork to accomplish goals. I was fortunate to have great leadership in my supervisors early on in my life. As a teenager who just turned 16, and as someone who had gotten my license and thought I knew everything, I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity and guidance given by Mike Kelly, who was the store manager.
What’s the most difficult job you’ve ever had?
The most difficult job I’ve ever had is recruiting and hiring for the Sheriff’s Department. It’s also the most rewarding job at the same time. It takes a special person to work in this profession. You must have a servant’s heart and you have to like people. I’ve had to turn away friends, friends of friends, family of friends, and friends of family. However, I’ve also seen applicants cry after being told they got the job. I’ve been bear hugged by a 6-foot-6, 350-pound man! I’ve had applicants scream and jump with excitement after hearing they’ve been selected. When it is someone’s lifelong dream to serve this great community, it shows.
What part of your job would most surprise people?
How much we listen to people and try to help solve their problems. I’ve sat on a curb with a teenager and cried together as we talked about the struggles of life. I’ve had to arrest people for many different reasons who will now just call to say hello and make sure everything is going well in life.
What advice would you give someone considering doing the same line of work as you?
Call me and let me help you determine the next steps. There are many different roles within the law enforcement profession. Let me help you get started and you could be serving this year! Don’t hesitate or second guess. Stop listening to the negative and choose to do something positive by serving your community. It is a great career journey, from my experience. There has never been a day I was scheduled to be at work and said, “I just don’t want to go today.” It is the best, most rewarding job I could want.
Who is your personal hero?
My dad is my hero. He taught me how to be a father, friend and husband. He is the most laid back man I know (although I did not get that trait). Growing up, and to this day, he knows when to bring me back to reality and when to let me fail so I would learn from my own mistakes. No matter my situation, I know I can count on my dad to come to my aid or just listen. He is a man of few words, but when he speaks, I know to listen.
Your standard order at a coffee shop?
Large coffee with cream and sugar
Your ultimate “happy place?”
Home! Trips with friends and family is always nice, but truth be known, I’m the happiest when I home with my family and closest friends.
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke! There isn’t anything else. My grandfather worked for Sanford Coca-Cola Bottling Co. growing up, so it was all we knew or allowed in the house. My mom probably used Coca-Cola in my bottle as a child!
Where is your dream location to retire?
Somewhere near the ocean where it stays 70-80 degrees all year long!
Favorite weekend getaway:
Emerald Isle with the family.
Which do you like better: starting or finishing?
Favorite character from a Disney movie:
Life on other planets? Yes or no?
Stay up late or get up early?
Stay up late
Least favorite saying, and why you don’t like it:
“Living the dream.” It’s mostly said with sarcasm and a negative tone.
Dogs or cats?
Ever danced in the rain?
You do not want to see me dance — but yes, when your little girl asks you to act crazy with her, you will do crazy things — like trying to dance in the rain!
What celebrity would you most like to hang out with for a day?
What’s the best use of a snow day?
I usually end up working during inclement weather. But if do get to be home, I like to stay close to heat. I don’t like the cold!
What makes your home special?
My kids. Each one has their own unique style about them, and no matter what they each make my day better.
Who was the best teacher (in school or at work) you ever had, and why?
I was fortunate to have many teachers who were great and patient. I know I was difficult at times. I have to recognize two: Roy Cox (my Carpentry teacher) and Donnie Brafford (my Industrial Maintenance teacher). Both had a huge impact on my life. They each listened and took time with us to show each of us how to properly do the task. The skills they both taught enabled me to fix my own home in times of repair, remodeling, etc. They also helped me lend a hand to others in their times of need. It’s always an honor to get to see these two men!
Your strongest trait:
My strongest trait is my integrity because I have a strong belief in doing what is right and not what is popular, or what others feel I should do.
Words or phrases you overuse:
“I’ve got it” or “I’ll take care of it.”
The book you’re currently reading:
Tim Tebow’s “Shaken – Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms”
The TV program that’s a “must-see” for you:
“The Andy Griffith Show” and “Street Outlaws” are my favorite shows to watch when the kids aren’t controlling the TV.
Your favorite movie of all time:
Gone in 60 Seconds
What’s your favorite website?
If money weren’t an object, but you still had to work, what would your job be?
I’d continue to serve the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. This is the best community ever in which to live and work!
What radio station do you listen to most frequently?
K-Love (94.3 FM)
One day, when you have time, what would you like to learn how to do?
What do you plan to do after retirement?
I tell my wife I’m going back to grocery store work. I enjoyed my time in those stores!
Your ideal vacation would be:
Somewhere near the ocean with no cell phone.
What’s your favorite one-day travel destination?
Jordan Lake with family and friends.
What’s your favorite snack food?
Chocolate chip cookies
If you could eliminate any invention, what would it be?
What you like best (or least) about where you live now:
I like that I have great neighbors and my family and friends are close by.
Favorite place to eat:
I have several favorite places to eat. Depends on the day, the amount of money in my pocket, and who I haven’t seen lately. My favorite places to eat are also where many of the locals whom I enjoy talking to work and go for meals as well.
The one material possession you can’t live without is:
Don’t laugh, but it would be an iron! I iron all my clothes every day. I believe I would struggle to function in life if I couldn’t iron my clothes.
The credo or motto you like to try to live by:
Take the high road no matter what!
The best advice you ever got was:
A good friend who retired from law enforcement told me to find a tree in the yard and to park near it when I arrive home from work. Once I get out of the car, walk by that tree, and hang all the stresses from the day on it so the stress isn’t carried into the home. Tomorrow, when leaving for work, pick up what you need to carry with you back to work and deal with it in the best way you can. The other worries can hang out on that tree to be forgotten!
What is your favorite book?
“Failing Forward” by John Maxwell
Is there an item or collectible you hold dear?
I keep a half dollar coin which was prayed over and given to law enforcement officers in this community several years ago by Hickory Mountain Baptist Church. It stays in my shirt pocket over my heart every day I am in uniform.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
To be a police officer and firefighter. I did both. I served 13 years as a volunteer fire fighter and this is my 20th year in law enforcement.
If you were given $5,000 to donate to a non-profit organization, which would you pick — and why?
CORA and the Sheriff’s Office Youth Services. Both are doing great things in this community and reaching people who need it most: the hungry and our youth!
What would you like to know about the future?
That my kids are living for Christ and being successful in their own individual goals.
Would you go bungee jumping or skydiving?
Do you have a tattoo?
Favorite kind of cookie?
Chic-fil-A Chocolate Chip Cookie. It’s a must every time I go!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to tell someone?
That their family member has been in an accident or died. The worst is when is when your own friend was in the accident.
Would you consider plastic surgery if someone else paid for it?
Biggest pet peeve?
Gossip, rumors and bullying.
What superhero power would you most like to have?
To instantly freeze things.
Favorite band or musical artist?
Jim Quick and Coastline Band
This could get lengthy, but my mom’s Devil’s Food Cake or her Coca-Cola Cake (there is the Coke product again!) Additionally, Mrs. Wenger’s Homemade Banana Pudding, anything from Phoenix Bakery...and I can’t leave out Doris Raines’ coconut pie!
Who’s your best friend and why?
My best friend is my wife. She gets me, puts up with me, and keeps me in check. There are days she probably dislikes me — I can be hard to get along with at times — but we have a good life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What’s your favorite condiment?
Ranch dressing. It’s a must for just about everything.
Do you have bumper stickers of any kind on your car?
That’s not acceptable.
If you could create one rule that all society had to live by, what would it be?
Treat everyone you encounter with respect and compassion. Everyone has a story to tell. Your kind gesture may be the positive turning point in the crossroads of making decisions for change in their life. Make it a purpose in your life to lift up one person each day.
How do you define success?
Seeing others whom I’ve had the privileged to coach, mentor and listen to succeed in their goals, whether it is in their personal or professional life.
Describe your life philosophy in six words or less:
Love God, Love People, Don’t Quit
What advice would you give your younger self?
Spend time with your loved ones every chance you get because one day you will wake up and they’ll be gone. Tell people what they mean to you and that you appreciate what they did for you before you lose the opportunity. There will be people in your life that you will miss dearly after they are gone!
What’s the most important thing your job has taught you?
The most important thing my job has taught me is that we are all human beings. No one, no matter who you are, is perfect. I have my flaws, and so does everyone else. It’s not my job to judge anyone else. I set out each day to change at least one person’s opinion about the law enforcement profession, and I do that by treating everyone I come across with respect and without judgment. I chose to serve because this is what I truly believe I was called to do.