State Highway Patrol Employees and Civilians Receive Departmental Awards


Department of Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan and State Highway Patrol Colonel Bill Grey presented employee and civilian awards in a ceremony May 21 at the SHP training academy. The awards included the State Highway Patrol Appreciation Award, Meritorious Award, Samaritan Award and Humanitarian Award.

Secretary Shanahan said, “Those of you who wear the uniform know how extremely vital your role is here in North Carolina. In addition to their dedicated service to the state, these recipients’ exemplary actions make them most deserving of these prestigious awards.”

Awards were presented for providing lifesaving care to those in need, to improving productivity and effectiveness within the organization.

Col. Grey said that each recipient went above and beyond the call of duty.  “Their efforts make up the fabric of this great organization, and their actions extend well beyond the scope of their work duties,” said Col. Grey. “The excellent service and dedication demonstrated by the honorees is a reflection of the caliber of employees that we have within this organization.”

The following are the awards and the recipients:

Appreciation Awards

The Highway Patrol Appreciation Award Recognizes a citizen who has significantly contributed to the success and mission of the Highway Patrol.

Dean Colburn, Plymouth

On Jan. 3, Trooper B. A. Davis stopped a vehicle in the Roper area of Washington County and attempted to arrest the driver for drug violations. A fight ensued and the driver discharged a firearm and fought with Trooper Davis for more than five minutes when, Mr. Dean Colburn stopped to assist Trooper Davis. Mr. Colburn, without regard for his own safety, approached the scene and followed the directions of Trooper Davis by calling for assistance using Trooper Davis' mobile 800 radio in his patrol car. Mr. Colburn called for assistance on two occasions and then, following Trooper Davis' commands, assisted Trooper Davis in handcuffing the defendant. Mr. Colburn could have driven by the scene and not stopped as many other vehicles did. There is no question that Mr. Colburn's actions on this occasion contributed to Trooper Davis' safety.

Michael W. Hawkins, East Bend

On March 11, Trooper Joseph M. Byrd was changing a flat tire on his unmarked patrol vehicle on Dinkins Bottoms Road in rural Yadkin County. The jack that was supporting the vehicle fell, pinning Trooper Byrd's left hand between the wheel well and the tire. The entire weight of the 2011 Dodge Charger was on Trooper Byrd's left fingers.

Mr. Hawkins was driving by the scene minutes after the accident and stopped to render aid to Trooper Byrd. Mr. Hawkins re-deployed the floor jack and was able to lift the vehicle off of Trooper Byrd. Mr. Hawkins continued to offer aid and assistance to Trooper Byrd, both to his personal injury and changing the tire. Mr. Hawkins ensured that Trooper Byrd had appropriate medical care before leaving the accident scene.

Because of this selfless act to a stranger in need, Mr. Hawkins undoubtedly saved Trooper Byrd from losing multiple fingers on his left hand, and possibly ending his career in law enforcement due to the injury.

Jennifer L. Mashburn, Burnsville

On Sept. 11, 2012, Trooper Matthew C. Mitchell, was struck and critically injured by a passing motorist while he was issuing a citation to a violator on US 19 in Madison County. Just minutes after the incident, Registered Nurse Jennifer Lynn Mashburn traveled upon the scene and, without hesitation, rendered immediate, life-saving medical care to Trooper Mitchell.

By all accounts from other members on the scene, Mrs. Mashburn, supported by personnel from the Madison County Emergency Medical Services, instinctively led the care needed to stabilize Trooper Mitchell for his trip to Mission Hospital in Asheville. From there began Trooper Mitchell's successful and on-going recovery.

The doctors, nurses and other medical personnel attending to Trooper Mitchell played a critical role in saving his life during the first weeks following the incident, but without the efforts of Mrs. Jennifer L. Mashburn, none of those personnel would have been afforded the opportunity to treat our trooper.

Samaritan Awards

The Highway Patrol Samaritan Award is an award bestowed to a member of the Patrol who went beyond the call of duty to aid or assist a fellow citizen.

Trooper Michael J. Miles, Troop B District 7 – Lumberton

On Sept. 11, 2012, Trooper Miles responded to the scene of a head-on-collision on State Road 1340 in Robeson County. University of North Carolina Air Care responded to the scene to transport a six-year-old child. On the aircrew’s arrival, Nurse Leanne Reaves observed Trooper Miles assisting EMS by helping to maintain the patient’s airway and provide ventilation assistance with a bag valve mask. Trooper Mile’s calmness and professional attitude had a direct effect on calming those around him. When children are injured, the level of emotion and stress is elevated. His calm presence clearly contributed to the successful outcome of scene management. Trooper Miles helped to assist the flight crew in preparing for patient transport. He went well above and beyond to ensure a positive impact on this child’s care.

Trooper Michael G. Conley, Troop C District 2 – Goldsboro

On Feb. 18, Trooper Michael Potts, stationed in Durham County, made a traffic stop on US 70 on a driver for failing to wear his seatbelt. When Trooper Potts approached the driver’s side window to speak with the driver, he was met with gunfire. Trooper Potts sustained four gunshot wounds before falling onto the roadway. Despite being critically injured, Trooper Potts was able to get back to his vehicle to contact Raleigh Communications and provide a detailed description of the suspect and the vehicle.

Patrol members from outlying counties were called upon to assist in the search, including troopers from Wayne County. One of those members was Trooper Michael Conley. Trooper Conley immediately began patrolling the area. As a former Goldsboro police officer, and a 12-year veteran of law enforcement, he immediately began checking side streets and businesses. Trooper Conley found the suspect vehicle parked behind a restaurant near the 200 block of North Roxboro Street, Durham. The vehicle was backed up against a fence in an attempt to obscure the license plate. Trooper Conley immediately notified communications of his discovery. Multiple agencies converged onto the scene and it was determined that this was in fact the suspect vehicle. Law enforcement was able to retrieve vital information from the vehicle which eventually led to the arrest of 23-year-old Michael Edward Brady.

The discovery of the vehicle was instrumental for the apprehension of the suspect. Without Trooper Conley's efforts and drive to help a fellow trooper, the suspect may never have been apprehended.

Trooper Stephen F. Fortner, Troop F District 4 – Statesville

On March 30, 2012. Trooper Fortner was dispatched to investigate a motor vehicle crash on I-40 in Iredell County. Upon arrival, he found a single vehicle in the median on the interstate. His investigation determined that the crashed vehicle was travelling east when the driver lost consciousness, then traveled into the median striking a cable barrier. The driver was Mr. Merle Harris of Concord. Trooper Fortner transported Mr. Harris to the parking lot of a gas station to complete the crash report. Mr. Harris appeared to be alert while in Trooper Fortner’s vehicle, but at the gas station, Trooper Fortner observed him becoming unresponsive. Trooper Fortner pulled Mr. Harris from the vehicle and laid him on the ground to assess his condition. Trooper Fortner began CPR until EMS arrived. Mr. Fortner was transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital where he made a full recovery.

Meritorious Awards

The Highway Patrol Meritorious Award is given by the Patrol to a member who serves the state of North Carolina in an outstanding manner.

Lieutenant Christopher T. Woodard, Special Operations (Aviation) – Raleigh

In order to investigate the possibility of reducing the total expense of Highway Patrol services during the operations of the Aviation Unit, a careful and exhaustive cost and personnel analysis was conducted by Lieutenant C. T. Woodard, unit commander of the Aviation Unit for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year. After consultation and in partnership with the SHP command staff, numerous changes were made regarding the unit's personnel allotments, training, maintenance and purchases. These changes were realized without any reduction in the effectiveness of the unit's ability to manage the safety of the unit's personnel or the motoring public during aircraft operations and during deployments for requests for emergency services.

As a result of the outstanding efforts by Lt. Woodard, a comparison of FY 11-12 to FY 12-13 was conducted. This comparison indicated a reduction of 17.2 percent in the Aviation Unit's overall operational budget. The final analysis resulted in a total cost reduction in excess of $54,000.

The Highway Patrol Meritorious Group Award is given by the Patrol to members who serve the state of North Carolina in an outstanding manner.

Troop D

Trooper Thomas D. Darnell Jr, Troop D District 5 – Graham
Trooper Brian N. Leventhal, Troop D District 9 – Greensboro
Trooper Howard E. Johnson, Troop D District 7 – Hillsborough
Trooper John T. Cobb, Troop D District 9 – Greensboro
Trooper William A. Dees, Troop D District 6, Asheboro
Office Assistant IV Dawn M. Berry, Troop D District 7 – Hillsborough
Automotive Body Mechanic Jody J. Patterson, Troop D Headquarters – Greensboro
Automotive Maintenance Mechanic Jeffrey B. Newell, Troop D Headquarters - Greensboro
Sergeant Marcus L. Emmert, Troop D District 9 – Greensboro

On Sept. 15 2012, the 2nd Annual Trooper Challenge Mud Run was held in Saxapahaw. The event reached its designated number of registered participants, 515 adult participants, 100 child participants and several hundred spectators.

Troopers in Troop D came up with an idea to create a fun, unique and family-oriented event to promote wellness and positive interaction and partnerships with citizens in our communities. This year, the approximately $8,000 dollars in donations raised are being contributed to the Eve Carson Foundation and the N.C. Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund.

The event would not have been made possible without the team work displayed by Trooper Challenge Mud Run Committee members who worked many off-duty hours during the year to ensure the event would be a success.


Troop F Firearms Instructors

Sergeant Colin A. Maultsby, Troop F, District 3 – Lenoir
Sergeant James S. Cox, Troop F, District 2 – Wilkesboro
Sergeant Mark D. Guess, Troop F, District 9 – Newton
Sergeant Kenneth B. Joines, Troop F, District 4 – Statesville
Trooper David W. Hollars, Troop F, District 2 – Wilkesboro
Trooper David W. Church, Troop F, District 3 – Lenoir
Trooper Gregory D. Jones, Troop F, District 4 – Statesville

Beginning in 2009, the Troop F Firearms Instructors set off with the ambiguous goal of improving the firearms training in Troop F to the point where all members were prepared for real-world encounters they may face during their normal duties. At the beginning of this process, the Troop F average scores were in the mid-eighty percentile range.

The firearms instructors went above and beyond what was required of them by Training and Standards to structure the training in such a manner as to improve every members' skill set. These methods included formatting different training techniques and time allotments for different skill levels, shoot / don't shoot scenarios, simulations and other real-world training methods. Many times this meant one-on-one training with select shooters to improve weaknesses.

The dedication of these instructors resulted in Troop F posting the N.C. State Highway Patrol's best overall daytime and night time pistol scores for 2012 with an average of 89.59 and 95.49. The 2011 score was up from 2009 when the average score was 85.10 (daytime) and 85.32 (night time). This equals a 5.28 percent increase in the average score for day time scores and an 11.91 percent increase in night time scores. The commitment of the Troop F Firearms Instructors has unquestionably prepared the enforcement members of Troop F to better protect and serve the citizens of this state.

SHP Internal Affairs - Raleigh

Captain Charles V. Ward
Lieutenant Jeffrey O. Holmes 
Lieutenant Donna R. Carter
First Sergeant William L. Dancy, Jr.
First Sergeant Tyrone A. Ross
Donna M. Birckbichler
Candace D. Covington

On Feb. 4, the N.C. HIghway Patrol Internal Affairs Unit was tasked with completing a critical investigation within a two week timeline. The entire IA staff pulled together working beyond their scheduled hours while also completing their daily duties, to finish an investigation that involved the following in a two-week time frame: interview 41 people, transcribe nine interviews, correspond with more than 10 other state and local agencies both within and outside the department, reviewed more than 300 email messages, reviewed policies and procedures, incident reports, use of force reports and other documentation affiliated with this case.

The entire Internal Affairs Unit is recognized for their dedication to this request and completing a challenging case within the necessary two-week time-line while also attending to their other assigned duties.

Motor Carrier Enforcement, Troop E, District 9 - Salisbury

Trooper Kendell E. Jackson 
Trooper Eric M. Todd 
Trooper Dennis R. Brackman, Jr.

A cost saving initiative was implemented in January 2013 by the Troop E scale technicians. The members involved, took it upon themselves to design, manufacture, and amass accessories to the existing scale presses in order to make it more proficient and less vigorous for the process of calibration checks.

There are approximately 1,250 operational scales in state that are calibrated and checked for accuracy twice a year. These scales weigh approximately 40 lbs. Any one scale technician could lift as much 6,240 lbs during calibration check session. At a minimum, these scales are personally handled by scale technicians three times in sequence. This is equivalent to 3,750 times the scales are personally handled at a minimum. The enhancements made by these members not only reduced cost, but also lessened the repetition, risk of injuries and fatigue to members from each scale being handled.

As a result of the exceptional determinations of these members, the initiative would have cost the state an estimated $9,668.52 to outfit the existing nine presses. After the member’s partnership and expenses incurred, they fabricated, added aftermarket parts, and implemented the same at a total cost of $1,204.49 for the entire inventory of scale presses.

The members are commended for their unexpected labors, enhancements, creativity, cost savings and the scale technician’s welfare for the organization.

Accreditation On-Site Team - Raleigh

Diana Curtis
Sergeant Todd M. Koehler
Sergeant Jeffrey L. Miller
Sergeant Rudolph B. Baker, Troop C, District 1 – Rocky Mount
Lieutenant Teia M. Poulin, Personnel Unit - Raleigh

During the first three months of 2012, the Accreditation/Policy Unit was finishing the last documentation, planning and preparations for the upcoming accreditation assessment. Two weeks before the assessors were to arrive, the lead assessor notified the team that he felt they should comply with the accreditation chapters dealing with Criminal Investigations and Drugs/Vice/Narcotics.

Due to the non-existence of these components in the Patrol, these chapters had been previously handled as "non-applicable" since the Patrol was initially accredited in 2000. Finding documentation for these standards at the last minute was no easy task, but the team worked together coming in early and staying late into the evening to get policies changed and sufficient proofs together to satisfy the assessors. Being highly knowledgeable of the inner workings of the Patrol, they knew where to go and who to see to find these proofs.

Throughout the most difficult on-site experience the Patrol has ever had, the team remained professional and responsive to the needs of the assessors. When the report of the assessment arrived showing a deficiency, again the team pulled together to correct the deficiency. Then, at the CALEA conference in Jacksonville, Fla., the team answered all the concerns that the accreditation commissioners had about the onsite and the Patrol was awarded full accreditation for the fifth time.

The team exceeded expectations in accomplishing this difficult task using their thorough knowledge of the accreditation process, the current standards in general law enforcement practices and the procedures of the Patrol. This team worked together tirelessly and selflessly to accomplish this task for the betterment of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Accomplishing re-accreditation shows that the Patrol meets or exceeds the generally accepted standards and practices of the international law enforcement community.

Humanitarian Award

The Highway Patrol Humanitarian Award is an award that recognizes an employee for outstanding volunteer public service that significantly contributes to individuals, groups, organizations, or communities in North Carolina.

Sergeant Joheliah D. Wilson, Troop H, District 3 – Monroe
Trooper Allen T. Johnson, Troop H, District 9 – Monroe
Telecommunication Center Supervisor Robert A. Currie

The daughter of Union County Trooper Kirk Marino, Sydney, was diagnosed with leukemia after falling ill on Christmas Day. On Feb. 9, the Christian Cooking Convoy held a spaghetti dinner for Sydney Marino. Sgt. J.D. Wilson, Trp. A. T. Johnson, and TCS R. A. Currie volunteered their time to make the spaghetti dinner fundraiser a huge success, spending several weeks planning this event.

They were able to get help from Have A Heart Foundation of Union County and from the Christian Cooking Convoy along with several local churches. Businesses in the community donated items for a raffle drawing and for an auction that was held at the event. Not only did they work behind the scenes to make this event happen, they each volunteered at the dinner and worked tirelessly to make the event successful. The event was attended by more than 800 people and raised $32,000 which went directly towards helping Sydney's fight with leukemia.

Each member was recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty to help a fellow member of the Patrol and his family during their time of need.

Lieutenant Teia M. Poulin - Personnel Unit.

The Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate has been hosting the Race for the Cure for 16 years. During that time, the participants have increased from 2,500 to 22,000. Each year the transportation challenge grew bigger and bigger. In 2008, with an attendance of more than 19,000 people, the transportation service from PNC Arena to Meredith College was pushed to its maximum. The transportation committee tried to organize eight CAT buses to move more than 16,000 people to and from Meredith College. Participants missed their race because the line to get on the buses was taking an hour to move. There was some concern for participant safety in the way the buses were being loaded and unloaded. By the end of the day, people were waiting in excess of 90 minutes to get a bus back to their car. The Race Committee feared the inconvenience of the transportation was going to cost future participants.

In 2008, Lieutenant Teia Poulin joined the race committee as a volunteer. She agreed to chair the 2009 transportation committee and help fix a growing problem during her off-duty time from the Patrol. Her first order of business was to get more buses in the rotation. She was able to secure not only CAT buses but buses from TTA and the YMCA and now the race has 35 buses.

Lt. Poulin designed a route that would keep the buses in motion throughout the day and set up a transportation plan to ensure that the safety of all participants and volunteers were always the first concern. Based on the hard work and planning by Lt. Poulin, the Komen Race was able to move 20,000 people with a wait time of less than 20 minutes in 2009. She continued to chair the race committee in 2010-2012 and the wait times have never exceeded 20 minutes.

Lt. Poulin’s contribution to the Race has directly impacted our community through the education, screening and treatment we are able to fund because of the success of our Race. Her selfless actions and dedicated service to the Komen Race for the Cure in Raleigh is commendable.


N.C. Department of Transporation J.D. Goins Award

SHP Captain David Allen of Troop H Headquarters, received DOT’s 2011 J.D. Goins Award for his dedication to improving the safety and mobility on North Carolina roadways through his support of DOT’s Incident Management Assistance Program.  The award was presented by Meredith McDiarmid, DOT.


Contact: Fst. Sgt. Jeff Gordon
Phone: (919) 733-5027

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