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

Secretary Jarvis names the department's 1998 Officers of the Year

RALEIGH — Fifteen DOC officers came to Raleigh June 9 to receive one of the highest honors an officer can receive. The 15 are part of a small, select group of employees named Officer of the Year.

Secretary Mack Jarvis presented each officer with a certificate in recognition of the officer’s outstanding service to the Department of Correction.

"These officers are special people," he said. "They were selected for this honor from more than 11,400 DOC officers statewide, and deservedly so. Many of these officers put in long, often stressful hours, working to make this department what it is today."

In proclaiming June 7-13 as Correctional, Probation and Parole Officers Week in North Carolina, Gov. Hunt said correctional and probation/parole officers should be recognized for their role in ensuring the safety of the general public, correction staff and offenders

Following are the 1998 Officers of the Year:

Robert Scott Bauer is an intensive probation officer for Judicial District 21 in Winston-Salem. He has been working closely with the Drug Court of Forsyth County since its inception in January 1996. Sonia Riley, the director of Drug Court, attributes the court’s success to the diligent work, strong team concept and compassion for offenders that Bauer possesses.
Jackie Grey Bullard is a surveillance probation officer in Forsyth County. He has been working closely with the Drug Court since its inception in 1996. Through his involvement with the Drug Court, Bullard has worked to develop a strong network of support agencies including the Department of Social Services, half-way houses, treatment providers, drug labs, day reporting centers and law enforcement.
Anita Culbreth is a victims’ advocate with the Division of Adult Probation and Parole in Craven County. She is a trailblazer in the development of DAPP’s Victim Advocacy Services. She has helped guarantee the growth of the Victims Advocacy program by spending countless hours providing presentations to civic organizations, social groups and community service agencies. She also helped develop a lesson plan and training package on victim sensitivity for the division’s staff on the best way to assist victims of crime.
Sandy Epperson is a chief probation and parole officer for Judicial District 26 in Charlotte. Since 1994, Epperson has been participating in the Charlotte Violent Fugitive Task Force, a federal, state and local cooperative effort to seek violent fugitives. Epperson works nights, days and weekends on this task force while continuing to perform his duties as a chief probation and parole officer. In addition to working with the task force, Epperson is also helping to coordinate the Community Policing Partnership Program being established in Charlotte.
Henry Oxendine is an intensive probation officer for Judicial District 16B in Robeson County. In an effort to help needy offenders, Oxendine established a Christmas project, raising $750.00 for the needy. Last year, as a result of his efforts, 22 people were provided with gifts and food. This has now become an annual event. In addition, Oxendine has served as pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church and has been a member of the Town Council of Pembroke. Despite his busy schedule, Oxendine still made time to coach the Babe Ruth Baseball team for three years.
James Ronald Bigsby is a correctional officer at Piedmont Correctional Institution. He is certified as a General Instructor, Unarmed Self Defense Instructor, Fire Arms Instructor and PR-24 Instructor for the department. As an instructor, he has taught his own scheduled classes and then has been called on to teach classes for other instructors who failed to show up. In addition, he always makes himself available to work on most of his scheduled days off due to the shortage of staff on his shift. He not only works his scheduled days off, but also volunteers to help the second shift by working over to assist them with staff shortages.
Richard Brewer, Jr. is a correctional officer at Lincoln Correctional Center. He volunteered to assist the food service supervisor on proper computer techniques of food service inventory and helped implement the new system. He also helped implement the system for the clotheshouse. As a member of the Lincoln County Correctional Officer’s Association, Brewer participates in the Lunch Buddy Program and has an underprivileged child that he eats lunch with, reads with and helps in any capacity that the child may need him. He also helps with the Special Olympics.
Richard K. Brown is a correctional officer at Caledonia Correctional Institution. He has earned his certification to be a General Instructor, Firearms Instructor and Pepper Spray Instructor for officers in the department. Brown not only coordinates the training for the staff, but also serves as the instructor in a lot of the classes, working one-on-one with staff members who have difficulties. Earlier this year while on his way to work, Brown came upon an accident involving a State Highway Patrolman. He stopped and administered first aid until help could arrive.
Nathan Wayne Bullock is a correctional captain at Hyde Correctional Center. He was given the task of being First Shift Commander for a new medium security prison that was just beginning the process of recruiting, hiring and training a full-time staff of 227 employees. Bullock’s maturity, commitment and ability to train new correctional officers was invaluable in developing the correctional staff at Hyde Correctional Center.Bullock commutes 75 miles and arrives at the unit by 5:00 a.m. on a regular basis. During the execution of his daily duties, he not only performs tasks related to his role, but he also provides assistance to other departments as well.
Becky Parham Connor is a correctional officer at Davidson Correctional Center. She has taken and passed the Sergeant’s exam and also became one of the first women in the North Piedmont Area to be selected to the Prison Emergency Response Team. She then went on to become a State Instructor for Firearms and various other subjects.Connor has also taken on an additional job as an Extradition Officer; yet she continues to carry her share of the workload at the unit even after long hours of transporting inmates to their locations.
Allison Henry is a correctional lieutenant at Pender Correctional Institution Last year, Henry was called to assist the staff and inmates of Transcor Extradition Services who were involved in a vehicle accident. Arriving with restraints in hand, Henry assisted with securing the inmates and maintained security while medical assistance was being provided. After realizing that the local police were unable to respond to this situation, Henry implemented a series of unexpected scenarios to improve the reactions of road squad officers and to increase response time to emergency situations. Henry’s endeavors to improve this training method helped elevate the overall performance of the correctional staff at Pender and other facilities in the Eastern Area.
Lavanda Hopper is a correctional officer at Cleveland Correctional Center. He recently experienced some personal tragedy when his mother passed away after a lengthy illness. During her illness, she spent a substantial amount of time hospitalized in critical condition. This situation obviously had an emotional, mental and physical effect on Hopper. However, through it all, Hopper insisted that he not be given preferential treatment concerning his work schedule. Throughout this period, Hopper’s quality of work, attitude or his approach to his job never came into question.
Edmond C. Lamm is a correctional officer at Franklin Correctional Center Lamm works as the primary Tower 1 officer on first shift and is responsible for perimeter security. He is called many times throughout the day and asked to provide the location of staff members both inside and outside the perimeter. Amazingly, Lamm is able to keep up with the movements of staff members in addition to performing his normal security duties. During significant staff shortages throughout the past year, Lamm often volunteered to work on his days off, not only to satisfy staff shortages, but also to allow other correctional officers to enjoy their regularly scheduled days off.
Willie R. Marsh is a correctional officer at Sandhills Youth Center. Currently a transportation officer, Officer Marsh has worked on all shifts in a variety of post assignments through the years and has always been dedicated to doing the best job possible. When he isn’t on a trip, he is constantly looking for things to do to assist his shift supervisor. He is also a valuable resource in helping train new officers. His experience and knowledge in dealing with inmates, especially in tense situations, is invaluable.
Robbie Exum Millard is a correctional officer at Neuse Correctional Institution. Millard has obtained his instructor’s status of General Instructor, Unarmed Self Defense, Firearms, OC Pepper Spray, PR-24 and Cell Extraction. The staff at Neuse look to Millard for his professional and outstanding character. During his time off, Millard often conducts wellness programs for the staff and also serves as a mentor for youth in his community and church.