Blog: DPS Dispatch

The school year is well underway with challenges brought forth by the pandemic and in-person vs. remote learning.  Youth who enter the state juvenile justice system also are participating in classes that look similarly to any classroom outside of a Juvenile Justice facility. Coursework is challenging and follows the North Carolina standards, no matter the learning level of the juvenile. Highly qualified staff evaluate every youth for their level of knowledge and are available to provide personalized instruction. 

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Michael O’Key is one of millions who walked onto a college campus this fall. However, his journey to get there was far from typical. O’Key did not allow one mistake as a youth to define him, nor hold him back from following a path toward his personal and professional goals. And thanks to support received from North Carolina Juvenile Justice staff, the 23-year-old focuses on what is ahead of him instead of being consumed by the memories of the 3½ years he spent at Dillon Youth Development Center in Butner for an aggravated assault charge at 11 years old. 

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The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is participating in “Operation Clear Track” this week (Sept. 20-26). The safety initiative is part of Rail Safety Week that is held in an effort to reduce preventable deaths and injuries near trains and train tracks. During the initiative, troopers are positioned at rail crossings to distribute safety cards and enforce grade crossings and trespassing laws.

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In the aftermath of the recent storms that dumped heavy rain on western North Carolina, a Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) was deployed to support the Haywood County Communications Center, in providing some relief for the telecommunicators there who worked through the storm and aftermath with little time for rest or relief. In addition to being an Emergency Management watch analyst with the N.C.

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Buying and selling online through social media marketplaces is a common occurrence these days. With no physical place for transactions, buyers and sellers must find locations that are safe for both parties to complete the sale. You must consider many things when keeping yourself physically and financially safe while making a transaction through these sites. Meet at a Law Enforcement Office

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As part of the N.C. Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management, the 24-Hour Watch is housed in the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. The Watch is an information and communication sharing hub for incident information and intelligence data from federal, state and local partners. The Watch shares information it receives with all necessary stakeholders via multiple communication platforms.   

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The graduates wore traditional black gowns and tasseled mortarboards. The university president gave his congratulations. The student body representative spoke of resilience. One-by-one, the students came forward to be presented with their Associate of Science degrees and the applause of their professors and visitors. The branch campus was ringed in barbed wire and guard towers. This was the first-of-its-kind commencement ceremony in a North Carolina prison – medium custody offenders graduating in person with two-year degrees from Campbell University at no cost to taxpayers.

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not provided many outlets for fun for juveniles and staffers within Juvenile Justice’s secure custody facilities. Though youth development centers and juvenile detention centers offer as many creative and educational activities as possible, in the facilities there are limited opportunities for the youth (and staff) to “blow off steam.”

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On August 17, 2021, Tropical Strom Fred swept through western North Carolina. The storm brought devastating floods that claimed at least five lives. Middle Tennessee experienced similar deadly floods the following week, after receiving several inches of rain. During hurricanes, flooding causes more damage and lives lost than any other hazard. 

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Many North Carolina students are back in the classrooms, which means more school buses on the roads and commuters in school zones. Do your part to keep children safe on their way to and from school by knowing school bus traffic laws. When to stop Two-lane roadway – All traffic from both directions must stop Two-lane with a center turning lane – All traffic from both directions must stop Four-lane roadway – All traffic from both directions must stop Four-lane roadway with a median – Only traffic following the bus must stop

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On Tuesday, August 17, Tropical Strom Fred hit the western side of North Carolina, causing severe flash flooding. In response, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 227, which waives the size and weight requirements for vehicles carrying emergency relief supplies or services to assist with the restoration of utility services, debris removal and emergency relief efforts. 

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Car Seat Safety

Proper use of car safety seats helps protect children while in a vehicle. When used correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of death in a collision by as much as 71% (safekids.org). There are a lot of different options on the market and it can get overwhelming, but the good news is that several resources are available to help parents while their child is in a car seat.  Choosing the Right Car Seat

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BEEEEEEEEP! “This is a test of the Emergency Alert System.” Many of us know that familiar test from radio and TV, and on August 11, many people in the United States will receive it on their cell phones. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on August 11, 2021, between 2:20 and 2:50 p.m. EDT.

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When Trooper J. L. Thorpe photographed a NC State Highway Patrol Dodge Charger one evening at the Raleigh-based training academy driving track, he didn’t expect that photo to be chosen to represent the agency in the American Association of State Troopers’ (AAST) “Best Looking Cruiser” Contest.

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