Secretary Hooks addresses First Class of Probation/Parole Officer graduates in 2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 12:46pm

Initial class to complete new expanded training curriculum

The first graduation ceremony of the year’s first class of basic probation/parole officer trainees came complete with the pageantry, and pomp and circumstance of a major state event. What made this occasion different than those Community Corrections had hosted in the past was one, the location, and two, the special keynote speaker.

Before a crowd of family members, friends, instructors and leadership from the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice leadership, in the auditorium of the National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, Secretary Erik A. Hooks addressed the class of 23 men and women from across the state. They were the first to complete a new expanded six-week curriculum preparing them to become certified probation/parole officers.

“You have earned your badge and the right to stand with other law enforcement professionals,” said Secretary Hooks. “My charge to you is to serve with a sense of honor and purpose, uphold your oath, never tarnish the badge and hold steadfast in your constant pursuit of excellence.”  

Officers Conner Tomlinson and Kristen Warren were recognized as top performers of the class: Tomlinson for scoring the highest scores on the written tests and Warren for earning the highest score on the firearms test.

Before the new officers took the oath of office, they received words of wisdom from members of the ACJJ leadership team. Each drew from his past experiences and work in Community Corrections.

Deputy Secretary Tim Moose used the acronym “P-P-O” to instruct the graduates on their responsibilities moving forward.

“‘P’ stands for your purpose which is public safety. You have a responsibility to provide leadership that will influence offenders to change their behavior.  ‘P’ is for your personal life.  Take care of yourselves.  And ‘O’ is for the oath of office you take. It raises the standard and level of accountability on you and the way you conduct your life.”

Community Corrections Director Tracy Lee reminded the class that they should always treat the offenders they will supervise with dignity and respect.

“You are change agents.  Offenders should know who you are by the way you conduct yourselves,” said Lee.

Before officers took their oath, fellow officer and classmate Kasandra Tweedy challenged her class.

“We must meet our offenders where they are and build from there.  We must remember to remain leaders. Let’s leave our mark on probation history,” said Tweedy.

Superior Court Judge  Bryan Collins delivered the oath as graduates proudly repeated the promise of duty.  

“You are now officially probation and parole officers,” Judge Collins exclaimed to the graduates.

The crowd of onlookers roared with applause and each officer was then presented with the official badge of the agency.  

“This is more than just a job,” said Secretary Hooks. “You now stand among heroes.”  

CY2019- Class 01  
Shakeyla Bailey (Mecklenburg), Sharmiece Dobson (Wake), Melinda Flynn (McDowell), Brett Godwin (Hoke), Kerry Harris (Onslow), Carol Hernandez (Cumberland), Ryan Husk (Wake), Demiah Johnson (Durham), Mikia Langford (Wake), Tarisha Mitchell (Mecklenburg), Morgan Phillips (Haywood), Travis Rivelle (Lincoln), Nicholas Runyan (Mecklenburg), Cheryl Shepherd-Young(Cabarrus), Michael Smith (Guilford), Jonathan Thompson (McDowell), Justin Thompson (Guilford), Conner Tomlinson (Forsyth), Kasandra Tweedy (Mecklenburg), Cheryl Wallace (Rowan), Kristen Warren (Wilson) and James York III (Forsyth).                                                                
Sonja Bennett-Bellamy