National Organization Honors S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Billups for Heroic Action

Author: Jerry Higgins, Communications Officer

At its September National Memorial Ceremony and Training Institute Recognition Luncheon in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation honored Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Critical Incident Administrator Jeffery Billups for his heroic actions last summer while driving home from work.

Billups (pictured in center) received the CPOF Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award from the CPOF Board of Directors Chairman Glenn Mueller and National Director Ron Barnes.

“The award means so much,” Billups said. “I accepted the award not just for me but for everyone who comes to work in ACJJ. I am a small portion of the bigger picture of NCDPS. We have heroes every day who prepare, protect and prevent for our greater mission. I just enjoy serving the people of North Carolina. I’m humbled.” 

CPOF Colorado representative Guy Edmonds, a former captain for the Colorado Department of Corrections, introduced Billups. “This is an honor for me to present,” Edmonds said. “This is the type of individual that we work with on a day-to-day basis. We often hear about two different responses that an individual may have to a certain situation; and that is to fight or flight. This is what we as correctional professionals strive to obtain.”

On July 15, 2019, Billups drove home from work on U.S. 13 in Bertie County when a vehicle immediately ahead of him blew out a tire, swerved and flipped over on the highway. Billups, a former probation/parole officer, said his training and instincts kicked in and he was first on the scene to help.

Two adults and a child got out of the vehicle. However, a baby was still strapped in a car seat upside down in the overturned vehicle. Billups checked the car, crawled through the back window, grabbed his pocketknife, and cut the baby loose.

Billups checked on the adults, who were OK, and he grabbed his medical kit in his car to take care of the other child. He called 911 and got EMS and the State Highway Patrol to the scene. Billups stayed and comforted the family until help arrived.

“We are extremely happy that Jeffrey received this recognition from CPOF. His actions on this day and every day represents the department’s mantra of prepare, prevent, protect to better the lives of our citizens and employees,” said Tim Moose, chief deputy secretary for the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. “His work as a critical incident administrator, along with that of fellow administrator Crystal Allen and several hundred S.H.I.E.L.D. team members, represents the very best in servant leadership. “

In his role with S.H.I.E.L.D. (Staff Helping In Emergency Life-changing crisis or Difficult situations), Billups provides support and coordination of services to persons working with offenders such as probation/parole officers, juvenile court counselors, adult and juvenile facilities employees, and other DPS employees who have encountered, witnessed, or have been a part of a crisis situation. This situation may have occurred either in the employee’s personal life or may be job-related and has potential to adversely affect the employee’s professional well-being and/or job performance. He also provides support to families and co-workers of employees who have died and coordinate with outside agencies for benefits for certified officers who die in the line of duty.

“Jeffery assists staff on a daily basis who are dealing traumatic issues both on and off the job. His willingness to stop and assist this family in a frightening and dangerous situation is a testament to his dedication, character and commitment to put others above himself. I am honored to work alongside him,” said Deputy Secretary Tracy Little, who oversees S.H.I.E.L.D. 

The Correctional Peace Officers Foundation is a national, nonprofit charitable organization created in 1984 dedicated to support the surviving family of correctional staff who lost their lives in protecting the public while working in prisons or jails.


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