Every year we hold Staff Development week for the staff to get up-to-date on training. This year, we honored several staff members during our NCJAcademy Awards ceremony. Each member was rewarded for personifying an area of our belief of being R.I.T.E.
Please join us in congratulating these fine men and women for the fantastic job they do each and every day.
Relevant: (Scott Grantham, NCJA Instructor/Developer)
Enhancing the careers of criminal justice officers is the core of the Justice Academy mission – mainly by preparing them to perform their duties. Preparing officers to meet the current demands of their jobs keeps us relevant. Anyone following the news sees the tragedies of school violence, and violence perpetrated against law enforcement officers. Scott Grantham answered the call when both Legislative and Commission mandates required every officer serving as a School Resource Officer to complete the Justice Academy’s Basic SRO (BSRO) training course. Training literally hundreds of officers in a very tight time frame was an impossible expectation for any single instructor. Along with his manager (Tony Losada) and some external partners, Scott revised the BSRO curriculum; and developed as a train-the-trainer process which ensures the consistency and cohesion of the BSRO training, and prepares enough external instructors to deliver the course across North Carolina. Scott has also developed and delivered an Advanced SRO Survival course, which helps improve school safety for both students and officers.
Innovative: (Jessica Bullock, NCJA Instructor/Developer)
Continuous improvement is critical in helping the Justice Academy staff prepare officers for their varied job duties. Innovation is a core component of ensuring that we continuously improve. I often refer to this as ‘thinking off of the recipe card.’ When established training programs have been successful and rigidly regulated by administrative code requirements, innovation can be a daunting task. Jessica Bullock has done this in not one, but two training courses. She has worked diligently with the Instructor Training Advisory Group to identify ways to make curriculum delivery as efficient as possible. She continues to present suggested revisions to the Commission, which may blend the training to include an online component in the future. Jessica also collaborated with Deaf and Hard of Hearing community liaisons in the development of a 2020 mandated in-service training topic, ‘Community Strategies when Encountering Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing’. This collaboration yielded useful handouts and brochures which are used in the training, and available in the Academy Bookstore. Jessica even invited representatives of the Hard of Hearing community, including an interpreter, to this year’s In-Service Instructor Updates. This served as an additional resource for those certified instructors preparing to teach that mandated topic.
Timely: (Hazel McLamb, NCJA Housekeeping Supervisor)
No matter how much we plan and prepare there are times when the unplanned and unfortunate occurrence surprises us. Those surprises are not always benefiting to us in terms of time and fiscal impacts. This past year our housekeeping vendor canceled their contract with us at our Edneyville Campus. A number of West Campus staff members pitched in to help remove trash and clean some areas. However, regular cleaning of the residence hall and larger areas on campus was not a reasonable expectation for our busy staff. Hazel McLamb, without being asked, volunteered to travel from Salemburg to Edneyville on multiple occasions to coordinate and ensure that our West Campus was kept clean and prepared for training operations. We all know the phrase, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone.’ Everyone knows when a normally clean and well-kept environment suddenly changes for the worse. Hazel took the opportunity to step up and get things done. Her selfless commitment to the Justice Academy kept our service to our stakeholders and staff at a high level.
Engaging: (Paul Phelan, NCJA Instructor/Developer; and Tami Warren, NCJA ‘Many Hats’)
Watching Paul Phelan present to a group of students or listening to him in conversation it is obvious that he is engaged in his work. Paul has revised curriculum content and developed new training on topics such as Sexual Assault Investigations, Domestic Violence, and Hostage Negotiations. He’s published articles in his subject matter expertise and has met every challenge presented to him with a positive attitude. Paul recently completed his graduate degree, demonstrating engagement in his own education. Despite taking on a significant workload, he is eager to tackle more projects – even volunteering to present at multiple symposiums and conferences. Paul has referred to being an Instructor at the Justice Academy as his ‘calling’, and his ‘dream job’. The feedback from his students clearly reveals they were engaged in the learning process.
The death of a peace officer is a tragedy. The effects of that tragedy on the agency and the family of the fallen officer continue well beyond the incident. Criminal justice agencies seeking accreditation face a different, yet difficult set of tasks. The amount of work that goes into achieving an accredited status is vast and often unnoticed.
Tami Warren engages both of these scenarios with vigor. She provides valuable information and assistance to families of fallen officers with regard to survivor benefits. She also coordinated the annual Police Officer Memorial Day service for the Attorney General, bringing together officers, families, and dignitaries to pay respects to officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Tami also engages with agencies seeking accreditation, providing an experienced voice and an invaluable level of preparation. The Justice Academy Director frequently receives commendations from agency heads, stating that their agencies would not have become accredited without Tami’s help and guidance.