DPS Dispatch

When a group of us set out for Greensboro this week to work alongside other volunteers assisting with clearing debris in a neighborhood ravaged by a tornado, I’m not sure everyone knew what to expect. Many often see pictures or video on the news of areas hit by tornadoes, but when we saw the damage in the Woodbriar Estates neighborhood hit hard by nature’s wrath on Sunday, April 15, it was mind-blowing and heartbreaking. At the same time, it was heartwarming to see volunteers hard at work trying to help the neighborhood start the awesome task of cleaning up and repairing their homes.

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Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed the week of April 8 – 14, 2108 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week in North Carolina, mirroring the national observance that honors victims of crime and recognizing the state’s commitment to care for the needs of crime victims and their families. The theme for this year’s observance is “Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims,” signaling a pledge of collaboration and inclusiveness in supporting crime victims.

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Few would call the field of law enforcement an easy career path to follow. Being a police officer has always had its challenges, but for many women in years past, just getting on the force in a profession so heavily dominated by men was daunting. Societal changes have seen more and more female officers enter police ranks in recent years. That is a positive trend. However, the women who were the first to serve at their departments and who convinced sometimes skeptical brother officers they could hold their own still deserve our thanks.

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Jim Blackburn recalls compassionate PPOs as critical piece to his successful reentry When administrators, managers and staff members of NCDPS Community Corrections met in Raleigh for their annual managers’ meeting, they came prepared to work, strategize, and to hear Director Tracy Lee’s vision for making the department and its employees better. But day one of the interactive agenda faded to silence when the guest speaker of the day clipped the tiny microphone onto his jacket lapel.

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When there is a major incident that captures the headlines, people will talk about it, form committees and dust off response plans in the days and weeks following, all with the best intentions. Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks and a small group that met this week in Greensboro want to ensure the dust never settles on the topic of school safety. "For me and our department, I want to be in a constant state of evaluation and asking the question--- Are we doing enough, what can we do better and how as a state agency can we better assist our local partners," Secretary Hooks told the group.

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Leaders of the state’s 55 prisons repeatedly heard two consistent messages from senior management and presenters during their meetings in Raleigh on March 12-13: You are the messenger in your facilities, and it is essential to communicate and listen to your staff. “You run the facilities. You have the knowledge. That’s why you are there,” Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter told the group.

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The Juvenile Justice Section recognized five of its general instructors earlier this month during an awards ceremony held during the Section’s annual General Instructors meeting. Kimberly Quintus, Director of the Juvenile Jurisdiction Reinvestment Act, led the awards ceremony, and Deputy Secretary William Lassiter presented awards to the following individuals during the March 2 event: 2017 Juvenile Justice Instructor of the Year: LaTonya MiddletonCourt Counselor, District 11 (Harnett, Lee, Johnston counties)

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Twenty-four men and women proudly took the oath of office as they became graduates of the first basic probation/parole officer training in 2018. Family members, friends and trainers watched as Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier delivered the oath at a special ceremony held at the Office of Staff Development and Training Complex in Apex. Community Corrections Director Tracy Lee was keynote speaker for the ceremony. He shared wisdom from his early career as a Probation/Parole Officer in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Make sure your honor, your integrity and your reputation remain intact,” said Lee.

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On Feb. 7-9, Interim Chief Deputy Secretary Reuben Young and Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter resumed their visits to the state’s prisons by heading west. The road swing took them to Lincoln Correctional Center, Alexander Correctional Institution, Caldwell CC, Avery/Mitchell CI, Mountain View CI, Marion CI, Foothills CI and Burke CRV. As they did in their early January visit to prisons in northeastern North Carolina, Young and Lassiter met with the facilities’ senior management to learn about the facilities, hear updates about the various programs, concerns and what is working.

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Leadership from the State Highway Patrol, N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program and local communities gathered in Clayton on Friday for the launch of the “Survive the Drive” campaign to highlight the dangers of speeding and distracted driving on rural roads. Although many collisions occur on interstates and highways, statistics show that most occur on secondary roads. In 2017, the State Highway Patrol responded to 48,789 collisions on secondary roads. Among those collisions, more than 14,000 involved personal injury and 383 resulted in one or more fatalities.

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We want you. That well-publicized slogan on the Uncle Sam posters during World War II still applies. But this time it is the NC Department of Public Safety doing the recruiting and the agency is reaching out to military families. NCDPS and the NC National Guard are hosting a one-day career event designed to match eager applicants with departmental jobs in law enforcement, corrections, emergency management, National Guard, the State Bureau of Investigation and more. NCDPS Career Event Thursday, March 1 9am – 2pm Joint Force Headquarters, 1636 Gold Star Dr. Raleigh

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Governor Roy Cooper is making good on his promise to make North Carolina safer by helping people leaving the state’s prisons become productive members of their communities. During the second meeting of the State Reentry Council Collaborative this week, Gov. Cooper unveiled the comprehensive action plan created by the Council to ensure the success of formerly incarcerated people after they’ve paid their debt to society and return to their communities.

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