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Attorney General Josh Stein Presents Dogwood Award to Eastern North Carolina Law Enforcement Officer

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, March 28, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today honored Nash County Major Miste Strickland with the Attorney General’s Dogwood award for her 28-year career with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. Major Strickland is retiring this week as the first female major in the history of the office.

“The people of Nash County are better off for Major Strickland’s service and good work over more than a quarter of a century,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “She’s broken barriers, and her career is an example of the good that public-spirited law enforcement officers can accomplish. We need more officers like Major Strickland on the job, and I hope more young people follow in her footsteps.”

“I’m honored that Attorney General Stein has recognized Major Strickland with a Dogwood Award,” said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone. “Major Strickland has protected the citizens of Nash County for 28 years and served this community with extreme diligence, honor, and compassion. She’ll be greatly missed, and I’m sure she’ll carry on her service to the people in another capacity. I’m excited to see what that capacity holds.”

In her 28 years with the sheriff’s office, Major Strickland has worked in narcotics, as a dual law enforcement and detention officer, a school resource officer, a juvenile investigator, a major case investigator, a patrol sergeant, a patrol lieutenant, an investigative lieutenant, and a member of the SBI’s task force on internet crimes against children. She is also a certified state law enforcement instructor.

The Attorney General’s Dogwood Awards recognize people who are working to improve the health, safety, and well-being of their fellow North Carolinians.

North Carolina towns and cities face a shortage of well-trained law enforcement officers, in part because experienced officers are retiring from the profession. In North Carolina, between 2022 and 2023, there were 428 more law enforcement separations than new appointments. Attorney General Stein has been advocating for several proposals to get more officers on the job, including:

  1. Offering law enforcement hiring bonuses.
  2. Allowing retired officers to come back to work without impacting their retirement.
  3. Launching a public service awareness and out-of-state recruiting campaign.
  4. Incentivizing further education and training for officers.
  5. Offering mental health and wellness resources.
  6. Expanding the Criminal Justice Fellows Program to all 100 counties.

The Criminal Justice Fellows program allows young people to go to community college and earn a degree in a criminal justice field. If they work in law enforcement in North Carolina for five years, the state will fully forgive their loan. Applications for the program are open until April 30, 2024. More information is available at