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Staff report

Few roles in public safety and service are as pivotal as those served by the North Carolina Highway Patrol (NCHP) members. Today, we spotlight Trooper Eric Buffkin, who has dedicated over seven years to ensuring the safety of the state’s roadways.

Trooper Buffkin’s path to law enforcement was unconventional, starting with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University. His career began at a sow farm in Bladenboro, NC, but life had other plans for Buffkin. A chance meeting with First Sergeant Andrew Pait, a North Carolina State Trooper and gym owner, led to conversations about joining the Highway Patrol. This friendship and mentorship were key, as Pait provided support throughout Buffkin’s training and now serves as his First Sergeant in Bladen County’s Troop B District 5.

In his time with the NCHP, Trooper Buffkin has served his community and sought to expand his expertise. He is particularly proud of achieving his general instructor certification, which paved the way for further specialization in radar/lidar and firearms instruction. These qualifications not only bolster his role within the patrol but also enhance the overall skillset of the force.

Trooper Buffkin’s influence extends beyond traffic stops and highway safety. He recalls the profound impacts his wife, a teacher, had on her students from challenging backgrounds. Through her, Buffkin has been able to foster positive relationships with young people, offering guidance and becoming a role model for those who may only have seen law enforcement from a distance.

Trooper Buffkin’s daily inspiration to wear his uniform stems from a deep personal commitment. With friends and family among the many travelers on the roads, he sees his duty as a husband, father, son, and friend to maintain a safe travel environment for all.

When he is not in service, Trooper Buffkin embraces the joys of the outdoors, hunting, and staying active. His interests include working out—a passion that originally led him to the Highway Patrol—and cooking, a hobby that surely brings warmth and delight to family and friends.

In Trooper Eric Buffkin, the NCHP boasts a dedicated officer whose journey to service was as unique as the impact he continues to make. His dedication to public safety, commitment to professional development, and the personal touch he brings to the community set a stellar example for both current and future troopers.

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