Blog: DPS Dispatch

Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks and several senior staff are continuing to travel across the state to meet with correctional officers, medical personnel, maintenance staff and other employees who work in some of North Carolina’s 55 prisons. While the Secretary has visited prisons in Wake, Franklin, Nash and Granville counties in the last few months, he and some of his executive team are stepping up these tours with face to face meetings with employees primarily designed for them to share what’s on their mind.

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1. You live in hurricane, tornado, wildfire or blizzard hot spots (no pun intended), but have no emergency plan in place. Discuss with your family how to stay safe in your home and where to go if you need to evacuate. Be sure to include pets in your plan. 2. You've not updated - or worse, not made -an emergency kit. Include enough food & water for 3 - 7 days for each person and pet, changes of clothes, medicines, important papers, etc. 3. No battery-operated weather radios in your home. Have multiple ways to stay informed - especially when the power goes out! Be safe, not scared! 

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We wrap up our recognition of Juvenile Justice week this afternoon with a spotlight on our Central Office staff. Central Office is the tie that binds it all together, housing budget, purchasing, IT, human resources, training, policy and management/oversight of Juvenile Justice. A central figure in Central Office is Bonnie Clark, whose working knowledge of administrative processes and procedures – a critical part of day-to-day operations – is second to none.

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It's TGIF -- and we are certainly thankful for the staff of Treatment Services during Juvenile Justice week and beyond. Mental health is a complex and pivotal segment of juvenile healthcare. Juveniles committed to North Carolina's juvenile justice system present with multiple and complex behavioral health needs. Psychological program managers within Juvenile Justice -- such as regional Psychological Program Manager Dr.

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Education Services is charged with fulfilling all state and federal mandates of a traditional school system for youths committed to state juvenile facilities. Janet Dalton, a teacher at Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center, tries to reach even the most resistant learners by providing games and activities for her students to make the classroom enjoyable while the students learn. An avid math enthusiast, Dalton has volunteered on several occasions to assist other teachers.

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Today the Juvenile Justice week spotlight is on Health Services, the team that is dedicated to meeting the health and health education needs of the youths in juvenile justice facilities. Our professional medical staff screen and assess youth upon admission, develop healthcare plans and provide appropriate interventions and/or follow-up that may include referral for specialty assessment and intervention.

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As Juvenile Justice week continues today, we turn our attention to Juvenile Facility Operations. Staff in this unit operates two types of secure commitment centers for youths in North Carolina: juvenile detention centers and youth development centers. Many types of staff members are crucial to ensure that children are properly care for while committed to a juvenile justice facility. Children must eat, and proper nutrition is crucial. Cumberland Juvenile Detention Center’s Cook Supervisor, Tena Sonko, has the knowledge, heart and will to make sure that children in her care are properly fed.

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Employees in DPS’ Juvenile Community Programs unit work to provide North Carolinians with a comprehensive strategy to help prevent and reduce juvenile crime and delinquency. They do this by providing oversight and guidance to Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) programs, found in each county; to short-term youth residential programs; and through non-residential contractual programs that offer services to children and families such as functional family therapy (FFT).

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We kick off our recognition of “Juvenile Justice” week with our Court Services unit. Juvenile Court Counselors provide intake and supervision for undisciplined and delinquent juveniles, through such services as assessment, case management, diversion and post-release supervision.

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Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed Oct. 15-21, 2017, as “Juvenile Justice” week in North Carolina. All this week, we will be spotlighting the different units of our Juvenile Justice section through their outstanding employees, in recognition of their work with juvenile offenders, their families, crime victims and communities. 

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The first five State Capitol Police Officers in 1967. Left to right: Needham Wilder, Ray Benson, Chief Ray Sorrell, Linwood Carter and Tommy Williams. State Capitol Police Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary This month the State Capitol Police celebrated its 50th anniversary, reaching the historic milestone of half a century of service to the people of North Carolina and state officials, employees and visitors.

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If you ask Eric Wiseman to tell you about himself and his work, he will downplay his accomplishments, talking less about himself and more about the work. He will stress the importance of public service and how rewarding he finds his work as an area coordinator for NC Emergency Management to be. He won’t tell you he was recently named Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year for both North Carolina and the Southeast region; not unless you bring it up. That’s not too surprising when you consider many who know him describe Wiseman as a humble man who has dedicated his life and career to helping others.

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Children who are housed temporarily in North Carolina’s juvenile detention centers find they are provided the opportunity to experience growth in many ways: from social, to educational, to emotional. A newly developed program at the Cumberland Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Fayetteville allows them to nurture growth (of donated plants) while exploring their artistic creativity.

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Some say that a dog is a man’s best friend. Well, in this case, SAYLOR, a three-year-old yellow lab, aims to become the best friend for children in the New Hanover Juvenile Detention Center. An affectionate, expressive SAYLOR joined the center June 9 and has been making friends ever since. She is the first facility dog placed at a detention center by the paws4people foundation, a nonprofit organization that places assistance dogs with individuals and facilities with the purpose of helping people.

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A teacher is someone that not only teaches her students but inspires, transforms, prepares and encourages them to do more, be more. That’s why Janet Dalton, math teacher at Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center, was inspired to enter the profession. She had a third grade teacher who made everyone in her class work together as a team and contribute accordingly. It’s what she hopes to pass along to her students, and why she was named this year’s Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year.

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