Blog: DPS Dispatch

"La Fiesta del Pueblo” de 2019, evento en el cual participó el Departamento de Seguridad Pública, no decepcionó, ya que miles de personas llenaron Fayetteville St. en el centro de Raleigh el domingo 22 de septiembre para celebrar a la comunidad hispana durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana. Varios representantes de DPS estuvieron presentes para compartir información y educar a los asistentes sobre los numerosos servicios que el departamento ofrece.

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North Carolina’s Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) bring a variety of skills as well as resources and come from all over to help rebuild communities. A VOAD is a volunteer agency that responds to disasters as part of their overall mission. NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry notes that North Carolina’s VOAD program plays a key role in disaster response and recovery.

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Duplin County deputies drove the mother to the hospital with military surplus high-water rescue vehicle obtained from LESS. Through the federal 1033 program, the DPS Law Enforcement Support Services office provides excess federal property to law enforcement agencies in North Carolina to enhance their capabilities and reduce costs to taxpayers. That equipment goes out all year long but some of it is especially welcome during times of natural disasters—like during hurricane season.

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Under an innovative therapy program, offenders in Central Prison have been crafting Christmas ornaments before the holiday season. The work is therapy. The offenders are on the mental health caseload at the state’s largest prison. “I tell you, they are the most innovative people anywhere,’’ said Sue Etheridge, an art therapist at the prison. “This is good therapy. It lets them focus on something outside themselves. In confinement like this, people tend to get lost in their own thoughts.”

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Any time an emergency strikes North Carolina, the Department of Public Safety pulls together as a singular entity and focuses on helping to prevent serious injury, protect lives and property and prepare everyone for what issues may arise. Recovery efforts often include countless meetings, mounds of paperwork and providing resources where needed. 

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When a hurricane or winter storm moves through an area and emergency shelters are opened, Functional Assessment Support Teams (FAST) help those with access and functional needs to find a safe place to stay and provide the resources  they need. NCEM recently held the second of three regional trainings to help ensure those teams are ready to serve in North Carolina.

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State Disaster Recovery Act provided funding Barbara Fletcher’s home near Princeton sits less than a mile from the Neuse River in one direction and Mill Creek in the other. She has experienced flooding a few times over the years, but Hurricane Mathew’s flooding was the worst. “I moved here in 1975 and put a $20 bill down on the house,” she said. “When I came back after that last flood, the bottom was saturated. You could pull out a drawer and the drawer would fall apart.”

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The humming of a helicopter may not be a sound that many North Carolinians notice day to day, but that sound could mean hope for someone in dire need of rescue. The NC Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) is a specialized team of NC National Guard and NC State Highway Patrol pilots paired with local first responders who serve as rescue technicians under coordination of NC Emergency Management personnel all working together towards a common goal—saving lives. 

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RALEIGH - On Aug. 20, the Prison Reform Advisory Board began work on composing its recommendations on best practices for maintaining prison safety to Secretary Erik A. Hooks. The Board, appointed by Sec. Hooks last year, was created to review best practices regarding policies, programs and services to ensure the safety and security of the state’s prison system. They reviewed topics including health services, training, staffing, technology, communications and programs.  

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A delegation of state officials, including some from the Department of Public Safety, visited the African nation of Botswana in July to share their knowledge with government agencies in that country, as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. North Carolina National Guard soldiers and airmen, along with Guard forces from Alabama and New Jersey, participated this month in Upward Minuteman 2019, a large training exercise with the Botswana Defense Forces, promoting the National Guard’s State Partnership programs on the African continent.   

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North Carolina prisons work extremely hard in balancing custody concerns with programming that teaches offenders skills to be put to use back in the community when sentences are served. This year at Lincoln Correctional Center, offenders grew so many fruits and vegetables that there wasn’t enough space at the facility. So, they donated more than 2,400 pounds to two local non-profits for their use. “This was a great way to give back to the community,” said Lincoln CC Warden Sam Dotson (center in photo on the right). “The offenders felt good about doing this.”

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