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North Carolina
Department of Correction
Michael F. Easley, Governor                Theodis Beck, Secretary

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2001
Contact: Keith Acree
             Public Information Officer
             (919) 716-3700

Safety And Security A Priority For Transportation Officer

Alexander HardeeSMITHFIELD- When Transportation Officer Alexander Harlee is transporting inmates to court, the hospital or to other facilities, safety and security are his main concerns. That's evident because in Harlee's four years as transportation officer he has never had an inmate escape.

"I make sure the inmates are secure," said Harlee. "No one has even tried to escape while in my custody."

The 11-year veteran is one of more than 11,000 certified correctional staff who protect public safety by supervising offenders at one of the state's 78 prisons. Gov. Mike Easley has proclaimed May 20-26 as Correctional Officers Week in North Carolina.

Harlee first joined the Department in 1968 as a correctional officer at Central Prison. He left about a year later for work in law enforcement agencies working as a police officer in the State Capitol Police and Clayton Police Department. He realized his love for travel and people and became a bus driver for Greyhound Bus Lines. In 1990, Harlee returned to the Department as a correctional officer at Johnston Correctional Institution. Seven years later he became a transportation officer there.

As a transportation officer, Harlee is also responsible for inspecting the vehicle he's assigned. "I check under the hood and the tires and things on the vehicle and then I search it for contraband before I'll put an inmate in it," said Harlee. "Then I search the inmate thoroughly, put restraints on their hands and ankles and search their personal property."

Harlee says he enjoys his job and has no problem working with inmates. He offers this advice to anyone considering a career in corrections, "As long as you're fair and firm, you'll gain the inmates' respect. If you stick to what you learn in training and follow policy, you'll never have any problems."

Clayton is now home to Harlee and his wife. They have three adult children and four grandchildren. Originally from Raleigh, Harlee graduated from Lincoln High School in 1958. He attended NC A&T State University for two years before serving in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. In his spare time, Harlee is involved in his church, fishing and golfing.

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