Blog: DPS Dispatch

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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Dr. Eric Barnes was surprised and honored when he was notified of his selection as the Juvenile Justice section’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. After all, he felt plenty of teachers were worthy of the honor not only at Lenoir Youth Development Center, but at every statewide facility that worked during a pandemic.

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Summer is the time of year many North Carolinians choose to travel and participate in outdoor activities. Whether you’re visiting the mountains, the coast or somewhere in between, keep these safety tips in mind all summer long. Travel Safely Taking a road trip this summer? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 9,025 vehicle crashes that occurred in June, July and August involved fatalities. These collisions were caused by risky behaviors like excessive speeding and distracted driving.

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We are about a month into hurricane season. Forecasters have predicted an above normal season and already there have been a few named storms. Hopefully, you are already prepared for any storms with an emergency supplies kit. If not, it’s time to get your household ready. Be sure your preparations include supplies and plans for taking care of pets during these weather emergencies. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe your pets either. Make plans now to ensure your pets remain safe.  Have Your Pet Ready

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Whether you are a longtime homeowner or first-time buyer, purchasing insurance can be an intimidating task. The beginning of hurricane season is a great time to look at the types of insurance coverage you have and determine if it is adequate. Remember, new policies usually take 30 days to go into effect. So, plan now. Flood Insurance Did you know an inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage to your home or business? Most home, business and renters insurance policies do NOT cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that will cover your home and belongings.

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Healthcare workers, especially nurses, have built a name for themselves as those wanting to serve others. The Department of Public Safety Nursing Resource Liaison Ramesh “Ram” Upadhyaya is the epitome of public servant and has spent his entire career serving others. Upadhyaya joined DPS in 2016 and spends his days recruiting other nurses to work at DPS healthcare facilities. He works career fairs and visits with nursing students to tell them about nursing opportunities throughout DPS. 

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For Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month, the health care team at N.C. Correctional Institution for Women has recognized seven members of its nursing staff.   Prisons' nurses have proven themselves many times over during the pandemic, said Dr. James Alexander, NCCIW healthcare facility administrator. "It goes without saying that the past year and more of COVID has been exceedingly difficult," Alexander said, "and it has been nurses such as our Asian-American and Pacific Islander family that have enabled us to be as successful as we have."  

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