N.C. Department of Public Safety Recognizes 21 Employees with Badge of Excellence

Framed certificates with gold DPS emblem and the badge of excellence logo

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety honored 21 of its best and brightest employees on Nov. 29 during the department’s annual Badge of Excellence Awards Ceremony.

Since 2015, the Badge of Excellence award has been bestowed on DPS employees who made outstanding contributions to the department, state government and the people of North Carolina. In both their professional and personal lives, these recipients embody the department’s mission of improving quality of life for North Carolinians by reducing crime, enhancing public safety and serving the communities where they live.

Recipients were nominated by their peers and selected by the DPS Badge of Excellence Committee, earning awards in the field of customer service, safety and heroism, innovation and efficiency, outstanding achievement and public service and volunteerism. 

“This is a special event for DPS, as we honor and recognize employees who embrace their roles as public servants," said Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe Jr. "Each of them embodies our mission of preventing, protecting and preparing North Carolinians.”

DPS is proud to recognize the following individuals as recipients of the 2021 Badge of Excellence:


Elissa Brody – Director of Education for Health Services, Adult Correction Medical

As Director of Education for Health Services, Brody oversees the educational needs of DPS nurses across the entire state without nurses incurring any personal financial costs. Educational offerings have increased 413% since she began her position in 2018.

Felicia Johnson – Administrative Specialist, Emergency Management

In addition to her regular duties with Emergency Management, Johnson volunteered to assist with the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency’s Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions program. The program provides rent and utility assistance to families in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Since last December, Johnson’s efforts have helped secure assistance for 322 North Carolina families in need.

Seelam Rao – Information Technology Architect, Integrated Network Services

Rao played a key role in the implementation of PowerDMS, a policy management platform that allows DPS management to effectively communicate over 650 policies and policy changes to more than 20,000 employees across the department. Throughout every step of the process, he offered excellent customer service to his coworkers, making the transition as smooth as possible. 

Jenna Taylor – Juvenile Court Counselor, Juvenile Justice

Taylor is a juvenile court counselor who consistently serves as a resource and advocate for the juveniles on her caseload, as well as their families. She goes the extra mile to ensure those struggling meet therapist appointments and assists school staff with any issues.



Alisha Green – Probation and Parole Officer, Community Corrections
Probation and Parole Officer Green came upon an assault in progress while parking her state vehicle in Charlotte. A male subject was sitting on top of a woman’s chest and violently pulling her around by her hair. Green immediately intervened, deployed her pepper spray and took control of the situation until the police arrived. Her quick-thinking actions helped prevent serious harm to the victim.  

Tangi Jordan – Youth Development Center Director, Juvenile Justice

Jordan noticed a group of people on the side of the road in Kinston performing CPR on an elderly man. She immediately stopped to help and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Though the victim later passed at a local hospital, Jordan’s actions helped buy him precious moments of time, allowing his wife to say goodbye to her husband.

Steven Thompson – Probation and Parole Officer, Community Corrections

Jones County Probation and Parole Officer Thompson heard that the county’s two on-duty ambulances were paged to respond to separate incidents simultaneously – both of which required CPR. Immediately driving to one of the scenes, PPO Thompson assisted in CPR by administering rescue breaths via a bag-valve mask. In doing so, he and the paramedics on site were able to save the victim’s life.


Grayson Edwards – Special Agent III, State Bureau of Investigation

Special Agent Edwards, a member of the SBI Bomb squad, assisted in the review of the squad’s policies and procedures to address concerns regarding site safety and hazard assessment. He developed a new application that allows for the documentation of responses and site safety information. He has since developed apps for the SBI K-9 Unit, Special Response Team and several other units.

Lisa Mathes – Nurse Educator Consultant, Adult Correction Medical

Mathes initiated and implemented an overhaul of the DPS nursing staff’s online platform for continuing education. Organizing a shared network drive, she compiled a repository of more than 220 training programs, ensuring that nurse educators throughout the state always have access to the most up-to-date information they need to teach their students.

Dana Melton – Administrative Specialist, Adult Correction Prisons

When COVID-19 hit North Carolina, many services closed their doors, including clinics that Nash Correctional Institution offenders relied on for their healthcare. Preventing a substantial medical backlog, Melton was able to schedule nearly 200 appointments on-site, an innovative departure from the previous model of taking offenders out of the facility for care. 

Edward Timmons – Tarheel ChalleNGe State Director, NC National Guard 

Since taking over leadership of the NC National Guard’s Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy, Retired NCNG Col. Edward Timmons restored and expanded the residential program for at-risk teens. When COVID-19 forced the school to shut down, he quickly established a plan that would allow cadets to complete their education. Since the spring of 2020, more than 440 cadets have graduated from the academy.



Renee Glover – Budget Manager I, Controller’s Office

Glover is a source of inspiration for her coworkers in the budgeting division. She led the transition to telework during the pandemic and adapted to staffing changes and shortages with a consistently positive attitude. 

Angela Wainright – Contract Specialist II, Purchasing and Logistics

Wainwright took steps behind the scenes to protect DPS employees deployed to protect public safety amidst protests regarding racial justice and police accountability. In some cases, these first responders were targeted for identity and financial theft. Through her efforts, Wainright was able to secure identity and financial theft protection for these employees at no cost.



Melanie Hollifield, Sharon Dills and Holly Davis – Juvenile Court Counselors, Juvenile Justice

Through the efforts of these three juvenile court counselors, two families in need had a merry Christmas in 2020, despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Enlisting the help of local churches, friends and social media, the three were able to collect 200 gifts and a Christmas dinner for each family, including gifts for the parents. On Christmas morning, every detail was perfect, right down to the bows and wrapping paper.

Chip Hawley – Chief, State Capitol Police 

Between the impacts of COVID-19 and last year’s protests in Raleigh, Chief Hawley distinguished himself as the epitome of leadership. With regards to COVID-19, he worked diligently to ensure officer safety, from securing PPE to adapting protocols for public interactions. During the protests of 2020, he led from the front, taking an active role to balance public safety and the Constitutional rights of protesters. 

Angela Marshall – Corrections Programs Supervisor, Adult Correction Prisons

Marshall has been one of the coordinators for the Special Olympics in Alexander County for several years. She spends countless hours of her time promoting and raising money for the Special Olympics, which includes working with local businesses to ensure the athletes have a great event.

Jerod Massey – Assistant Special Agent in Charge, State Bureau of Investigation

Massey has been a steadfast volunteer coaching teams with the Gibsonville Youth Sports Department since 2011. Prior to the pandemic, he also volunteered with the Guilford County Schools. From serving as a guest speaker for a middle school football team to participating in career fairs in 2018 and 2019, he continues to be a role model for local youth in the Gibsonville and Guilford County areas. 

Maryah Mazyck – Probation and Parole Officer, Community Corrections

Outside of her DPS career, Mazyck serves as head girls basketball coach at Charlotte Christian School. In addition to her full-time job, she devotes between 20 and 30 hours a week to her team. While she is a role model and mentor to the girls, they in turn are role models to others, helping elementary and middle school players develop their basketball skills.

Fletcher Reeves – Chief Probation and Parole Officer, Community Corrections

Outside of a decorated firefighting and law enforcement career, Probation and Parole Officer Reeves volunteers to support charitable causes like the Special Olympics, the Ebenezer Children’s Home and the Matty Brenner Golf Tournament. He’s a Master Mason, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, a church deacon and plays Santa Claus at the Wilkes County Courthouse. 



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