Blog: DPS Dispatch

Jerlene Epley, one of hundreds of employees who worked at Western Youth Institution during its 41 years of operation, saw it built from the ground-up. On Saturday, June 11, she will see the “High Rise” fall back to the earth. The 89-year-old Epley, one of the first female employees hired when the Morganton prison opened in 1972, will be on-site this weekend when the former 16-story facility is imploded to make room for a regional N.C. National Guard training center.  Staff of the Western Youth Institution during the facility's early years (above) and the building earlier this year.

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Summer is upon us, bringing weekend getaways, barbecues, pool excursions and more across the state. This year, summer plans may look a bit different as North Carolina kicks off July in Phase 2 “Safer at Home” as we continue the fight against COVID-19. While some extra precautions and planning may be necessary over the next few months, there are plenty of ways to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Here are a few safety tips no matter what your plans hold. Travel Safely

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Raise the Age – which increased the age of juvenile jurisdiction to include 16 and 17-year-old children – is bringing an older population in need of services to the Juvenile Justice section of the N.C. Department of Public Safety. The section’s Juvenile Community Programs unit has answered this call for services recently with the opening of a new transitional home in Winston-Salem.

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Memorial Day typically marks the beginning of summer travel, but this year has been anything but typical. Many will choose to remain "Safer at Home" this weekend even as North Carolina moves into Phase 2 easing COVID-19 restrictions. Still, others will choose to venture out. For those who choose to travel, here's a list of highway driving tips that can help ensure you and others on the road arrive safely,  Check and prepare your vehicle before leaving

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Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, offenders in North Carolina prisons who needed specialty visits to outside medical centers for treatment of physical ailments could spend an entire day traveling across the state to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, transported by correctional officers. That could provide security challenges depending on the facility’s vacancy rate. During this pandemic, transportation outside of a facility also brings the potential for COVID-19 infection.

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Know Your Zone, North Carolina’s new system of coastal evacuation zones, launched earlier this month. It’s a tiered evacuation system that focuses on areas most vulnerable to impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazards. The campaign was implemented to simplify the evacuation process by assigning lettered evacuation zones in each county, based on areas of higher and lower risk of flooding. How Does it Work?

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Boating is a great activity that most anyone can enjoy. There are so many things to do while on the water from water sports to fishing or just going for a ride. Follow these tips to make sure everyone stays safe while enjoying the fun.  Life jackets save lives

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It’s early May and COVID-19 dominates our thoughts and the news headlines. Hurricane season is the furthest thing from our minds. It’s not though. It’s starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Now is the time to prepare to ensure your family is safe in the event a hurricane affects your home. May 3-9 is Hurricane Preparedness Week, and it is the time to prepare for the upcoming season. Follow the tips below to be ready when a storm hits.  Emergency Kit

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There isn’t a profession inside or outside law enforcement where employees have to work in an enclosed area with convicted felons every minute of every day. That’s just an average day for correctional officers in North Carolina’s state prisons, and what they do keeps people safe.

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First responders may be the first ones to arrive at the scene of emergencies, but they are not the first person someone talks to when they call for help. Telecommunicators are the ones who answer those calls for assistance and relay information to first responders. 

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As more and more North Carolinians are working, learning or just consuming more digital content from their homes due to COVID-19, there has never been a better time to talk about internet safety. Cybercriminals use emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic to steal personal information or business data. Scams can be carried out through email, text, social media posts and even legitimate-looking websites. The following data theft prevention tips were shared by the NC Department of Information Technology. When Working From Home

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