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

Meet Nadine Vehe

Waynesville probation officer

WAYNESVILLE — Judicial District Manager Roger Haynie didn't hesitate when asked to pick one of his more outstanding female probation officers. Nadine Vehe has made a difference at the Waynesville probation office ever since she transferred from New Bern more than two years ago.

"Nadine Vehe's professionalism and positive attitude are apparent to all who know her," Haynie said. "She brings to her job an enthusiasm that carries over not only to the offenders she supervises, but to her fellow co-workers as well."

Vehe was one of the first to volunteer to be on the Electronic House Arrest Response Team. She is part of the Corrections Futures Project, and most recently, the Officer Safety Task Force.

She said the state-wide, 15-member safety task force was the most productive committee she's seen so far. The task force got approval for secured lockers, bullet proof vests, new jackets and caps identifying officers in the field, and permission to wear tennis shoes instead of pumps when doing field work. The committee is currently working on training issues.

Vehe grew up in Illinois, majored in criminal justice at Western Illinois University and married her college sweetheart. She worked as an intern for the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago until her husband was sent to Cherry Point Marine Base in Craven County. The Division of Adult Probation and Parole hired Vehe to work as a probation officer in the town of Havelock.

While there, her most unusual case came when one of her probationers murdered a man and buried him in his back yard. She went to his house to look for him, and noticed fresh dirt in the back yard, but it wasn't until later that she learned a body had been buried there.

Vehe prefers her Haywood County caseload, 60 percent of whom are Driving While Intoxicated cases, as compared to Craven County where most of her cases were drug-related.

In her seven years with the department, Vehe has never been threatened by any offenders, but mothers are probably the biggest draw-back to her job. When she had to move one teenager from his home because he was harassing the neighbors, the mother called her unchristian and a number of other names.

"I've learned to listen to that sixth sense, and have avoided any trouble," Vehe said. "I enjoy the field part of this work the most. We can’t see the outcome, but probation officers have more effect than they probably realize."

Haynie can't say enough good things about Vehe. "Given the tremendous task that probation and parole officers must perform, Ms. Vehe is indeed a valuable asset to this department," he said. u

NC DOC Correction News- June 1998
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