DPS Dispatch

Millicent “Millie” Gordon has gone up yonder – gone home to be with the Lord. At a point many years ago when she sought to find purpose for her life, she was shown a pathway. Faith leading her every step, she found a true calling by sharing her musical gifts and caring about young men in the North Carolina correction system. It’s hard to put a number on just how many lives Mille Gordon affected, and equally as difficult to count the number of grandsons she claims throughout communities far and near.

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NC DPS Secretary Erik A. Hooks and State Crime Lab director John Byrd are leading a team of professionals charged with implementing a statewide system to track sexual assault evidence collection kits. The working group, chaired by Secretary Hooks with Byrd serving as vice chairman, is made up of representatives from North Carolina Victim Assistance Network and the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, RTI International, the North Carolina Department of Justice, prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. A key supporter of the group’s work is State Attorney General Josh Stein.

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Encountering an active assailant is not a situation anyone wants to be in, but it is something we need to be prepared for. That’s exactly what NC first responders across several North Carolina counties have been doing this summer. The goal of these drills is to test emergency responders’ abilities to react and recover during an active shooter scenario and practice lifesaving measures.

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Last month, 25 male students from Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center spent a day at Frank Liske Park in Concord training with Carolina Panthers players and staff, including Mario Addison (All-Pro starting defensive end) and Kawann Short (starting defensive tackle). The excitement was evident as the players exited the bus to meet the young men. Watch video here.

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Tougher consequences now await offenders in North Carolina’s prison system who assault staff members, as the Division of Prisons takes another step to provide the safest working and living environment for staff and offenders.  With security and safety in the state’s 55 prisons a top priority, effective immediately, Prisons has elevated the severity of consequences associated with staff assaults.

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On August 7, when law enforcement officers across the state joined their local communities for National Night Out events, NCDPS officers were there, as well. This annual community-building initiative connects law enforcement across all 50 states with the neighborhoods they serve in to help promote healthy relationships between the police community and the public.

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The North Carolina Wing (NCWG) of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducted a statewide SAREX (Search and Rescue Exercise) from 16-21 July 2018. The week-long exercise began with days of planning and preparation and culminated in a weekend of actual and notional taskings. The SAREX scenario focused on after-storm damage assessment, missing persons and missing aircraft training. The exercise was overseen by Capt Scott Stevens, the NCWG’s Director of Emergency Services (DOS), and his advisor, Lt Col John May, former NCWG DOS. Approximately 100 NCWG members participated in the SAREX. 

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Society today oftentimes judges programmatic success from data and trend lines, but when it comes to Juvenile Justice, focusing purely on analytics and spreadsheets makes it easy to forget the Section’s mission to intervene and shape tangible change in the lives of REAL people. Presenting young people with opportunities to experience confidence-building success helps reduce factors that create adult offenders out of North Carolina’s best resource – our children.

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Normally, a correctional officer focuses on performing duties that protect prison employees, the public, and even inmates when the situation arises. But there are situations that call on the officers to take the additional steps to save an inmate’s life. This year, correctional officers at Lumberton Correctional Institution and Caledonia Correctional Institution have had to take extra steps to prevent inmate deaths, but not for what you may normally think. 

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Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed the week of May 6-12, 2018 to be Employee Recognition Week and May 9 as Employee Appreciation Day in North Carolina. To show appreciation for their hard work and dedication, employees have been spotlighted on social media all week long. Throughout the week, managers in the DPS family have personally hosted numerous ice cream socials, pizza parties and employee appreciation luncheons.

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Each May, the nation recognizes National Nurses Week culminating on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, recognized as the founder of modern nursing. In North Carolina, Juvenile Justice looks to celebrate the positive impact our nurses provide to the youth they serve -- and to recognize the collaborative work of professionals across our system to support juvenile success.  It seems an appropriate time, as we prepare to celebrate National Nurses week (May 6-12), to highlight an example of the ongoing, daily contributions of Juvenile Justice nurses.

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