DPS Dispatch

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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The latest graduates of the Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT) basic training have joined an elite group of correctional officers in North Carolina. Prisons’ Chief of Security Kenneth Smith has often referred to PERT as, “the agency’s greatest resource due to the sheer numbers, experience and the broad scope of mission capabilities.”

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On July 1, 1929, after the General Assembly authorized the State Highway Patrol’s creation, 37 individuals took an oath of office and became North Carolina’s first state troopers. These patrol members monitored miles of highway on Harley Davidson motorcycles, enforcing motor vehicle laws and assisting the motoring public.  Fast forward 90 years, the highway patrol stands more than 1,600 sworn members strong with additional civilian employees who provide telecommunications, medical or administrative support.

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