Bob was a newspaper reporter until he decided he would rather be a participant in solving crime instead of being on the outside of the yellow tape writing about it, so he became a deputy with the Macon County (NC) Sheriff's office. While working full-time as a deputy, he went back to school at nights and weekends to receive an associate's degree in criminal justice and at 61, he earned a BS degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University. He is a graduate of the 205th session of the FBI National Academy. He also has Criminal Justice Instructor Certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and teaches various criminal justice courses.
During his career in law enforcement Bob rose to the rank of captain in the Macon County Sheriff's Office where he served as the sheriff's executive officer. He then joined the Western Carolina University Police Department as its executive officer and in 2008 he retired. Over the course of his time at the sheriff's office, he observed the striking similarities between current drug-prohibition-related crime and alcohol-prohibition-related crime, which ceased immediately after the repeal of alcohol prohibition. He notes: "Where crime bosses once controlled alcohol and bootleggers made huge fortunes, we now buy alcohol legally and know we will not get lead poisoning from liquor distilled through car radiators. We have many people addicted to alcohol, but since it is controlled and regulated, we don't find people robbing and stealing to support their addiction as we do with those addicted to illegal drugs. If there are no profits, the illegal drug traffickers will have no incentive."
He was a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol where he flew over fields looking for marijuana plants. He is a member of the Franklin Board of Aldermen and is a longtime member of the Franklin Rotary club, of which he has served as president, and he is a Paul Harris Fellow.
Bob and his wife Nancy, a licensed community counselor, live in Franklin, NC.