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North Carolina
Michael F. Easley, Governor           Theodis Beck, Secretary

For Immediate Release
May 24, 2001
Contact: Keith Acree
             Public Information Officer
             (919) 716-3700


Jackie Ray Batts Sr. APEX - Sgt. Jackie Ray Batts Sr. of Johnston Correctional Institution in Smithfield was recognized today by Correction Secretary Theodis Beck and the North Carolina Department of Correction as one of 12 Correctional Officers of the Year.

Batts is honored for an act of heroism that may have saved a life. On Aug. 3, 2000 he was dining at a Smithfield restaurant when he noticed a man choking. He took immediate action by asking someone to call 911 and performing the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a piece of food from the man's throat. His quick thinking and fast action helped to prevent injury and possible loss of life in an emergency situation.

Batts supervises 29 day shift officers at Johnston assigned to road squads, transportation, the Correction Enterprises paint plant, vocational schools and visitation.

Batts joined the Department of Correction in 1990 as a food service supervisor at Harnett Correctional Institution. He was promoted to sergeant in 1994. Two of Batts' sons are also employed with the department. Capt. William Batts works at Hyde Correctional Institution and Jackie Ray Batts Jr. is an officer at Central Prison.

Batts lives in Dunn. In his free time he likes to play golf and he is active in his local Masonic Lodge.

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