N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--November 1998

News Briefs

Officer who stopped to help state employee captures escapee instead

Stopping to help what he thought was a state employee who had just wrecked his car, Officer Terry Rutan was surprised when, instead, he ended up catching an escaped inmate.

Rutan, a correctional officer at Caledonia Correctional Institution, was leaving work when a state car sped past him and later ended up slamming into a ditch bank. Rutan stopped to assist the driver, and smelled alcohol as he opened the door. As Rutan turned the engine off, the driver exited the car and began running from the scene.

Recognizing the driver’s clothes as inmate prison clothes, Rutan chased the inmate and subdued him approximately 75 to 80 yards from the accident site. Rutan maintained control of the inmate by forcibly holding him to the ground. As the inmate calmed down, Rutan noticed serious injuries to the inmate’s head caused by the accident and applied direct pressure in an attempt to control the bleeding. Other staff members arrived and helped move the inmate out of the woods to the roadside where off-duty nurses from Caledonia and Tillery Correctional Institutions provided some medical treatment until help could arrive.

The inmate was an honor grade who had escaped from Tyrrell Prison Work Farm. Upon his escape, he stole a state car and purchased some beer before wrecking the car in the ditch bank.

Correctional employees invited to run, raise money for Special Olympics

The Department of Correction recently received an invitation from Special Olympics North Carolina to become participants in the Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Each year, law enforcement officers from across the state raise money for Special Olympics North Carolina by conducting the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The 2,000-mile torch run is completed over a two-week period and involves more than 2,500 law enforcement officers, representing approximately 180 agencies. The

run will end in Raleigh prior to the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games opening ceremony at North Carolina State University in May.

Department employees are encouraged to become involved in raising funds by selling caps and t-shirts as well as asking for donations from local businesses and citizens.

Harrop to head new office

Dr. Al Harrop has been named director of the new Office of Human Services Testing and Research. Under Harrop’s leadership, this office will be responsible for departmental test development, analysis and scoring. In addition, the office will also assist the divisions in the analysis of staff turnover as well as identifying issues which impact staff retention. Fitness for duty assessments will also be conducted by this office.

Staff members involved in the employee screening program will be Terry Penny, Tammy Dupree, Wanda Whisnant and Kelly Krokas. Dr. Rosemary Ritzman will be responsible for research.

Committee seeks Larkins Award nominees

A new award will be presented to a distinguished state employee starting in January 1999 to recognize and encourage behavior that builds bridges and opens doors.

The Larkins Award, named for John R. Larkins, a trailblazer in race and human relations in state government, will be awarded to an individual who best personifies the example set by Larkins.

Larkins was hired to be a consultant to the state’s Department of Welfare in 1942, a time when most decision-making jobs were closed to minorities. Over the years, he served as associate director to the former State Probation Commission and persuaded Gov. Terry Sanford to create the Good Neighbors Commission, now called the Human Relations Commission.

He became director of youth development in the state’s training school program during Gov. James Holshouser, Jr.’s administration.

The deadline for nominations this year is Nov. 30. A nomination form and details about the award criteria are available through agency and institution personnel offices, or by contacting Carolyn Q. Coleman, Special Assistant to the Governor, The Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, 116 W. Jones St. Raleigh, N.C. 27603; or by phone at 919-715-3522.

Employees of the quarter selected

The Controller’s Office has named accounting technician Linda Little-Ward Employee of the Quarter for the period May through July and accounting clerk Sandy Jordan Employee of the Quarter for June through August.

Controller Sam Newman said Little-Ward was selected for this honor for her excellent work in accounting for federal funds. Jordan was selected for the award for doing a wonderful job of assisting with safekeeper, motor fleet and miscellaneous invoices.

Advanced certificate awarded to two DOC employees

Tarquintus G. Walser and Johnny Elmer Pilkington were awarded the advanced certificate by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education Standards Commission.

Walser is a correctional captain and Pilkington is a correctional sergeant. The advanced certificate is the highest professional certificate awarded to law enforcement and criminal justice officers in North Carolina. Typically, only 275-300 advanced certificates are awarded yearly by the Standards Commission.

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