|North Carolina Department of Public Safety|
Sergeant Wins Ketner Award
BADIN- Administration Secretary Katie Dorsett presented the Ketner Award Oct. 12 to Sgt. L.G. Smith of Albemarle Correctional Institution. Ralph Ketner, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Food Lion, initiated the award in 1992 for state employees whose efficiency-promoting suggestions cannot be awarded under the State Employee Incentive Bonus Program.
Smith was given the $1,000 award for her suggestion to reduce labor costs involved in processing the large volume of Christmas packages sent to inmates. Under the new policy, inmate family members choose pre-packaged gift items from a wholesaler. This eliminates the time-consuming process of having to search packages individually. While dollar savings cannot be quantified, one institution saved more than 355 worker hours. The program has now been extended across the state and is estimated to have saved more than 14,000 worker hours.
"It has saved us (correctional staff) from working a lot of overtime and weekends," said Smith. "I’ve had to work Christmas Eve before when I was supposed to be off, passing out packages to inmates." Smith added that the new policy has helped with security, eliminating the chance inmates could receive drugs, alcohol or other contraband hidden in food and gifts.
Smith has been with the department for eight years. She started as a correctional officer at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women and later transferred to Brown Creek Correctional Institution. A little more than a year ago she was promoted to sergeant at Albemarle.
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