For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that Greensboro Police Officer D.K. Evans, student Luka Kinard, Rep. Dennis Riddell, Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson, and Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott have received the Attorney General’s Dogwood Award. These awards are given annually to honor North Carolinians who are dedicated to keeping people safe, healthy, and happy in their communities.
Officer D.K. Evans
“Officer D.K. Evans demonstrated a commitment to keeping our students and teachers safe when he chased an armed suspect and kept him away from the school,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We are all safer when law enforcement officers demonstrate the dedication to protecting the public that Officer Evans did, and I appreciate his bravery.”
Officer D.K. Evans is a School Resource Officer with the Greensboro Police Department. In December 2018, he responded in less than a minute after a Greensboro high school official declared a lockdown and chased an armed suspect attempting to enter the school. Officer Evans was able to subdue the suspect until backup law enforcement officers arrived.
“Luka has been on the front lines of warning students about the dangers of e-cigarettes,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “He has shared his story countless times in an effort to help others and fight the vaping epidemic that is affecting our youth. I am so grateful for his honesty and bravery.”
Luka Kinard is a High Point student who was addicted to vaping and e-cigarettes. After entering treatment, Luka has traveled across North Carolina to warn other students about the health risks of e-cigarettes and the challenges of peer pressure. Luka also spoke about his own experiences with vaping earlier this year at a press conference with Attorney General Stein when the Attorney General announced his lawsuit against Juul.
“My message to other teens is to find healthier ways of coping with the stress of being teens other than vaping and substance abuse,” said Luka. Whether it’s to fit in, fuel curiosity or a stress-reliever, find something you enjoy. You’ll turn out healthier, happier and safe.”
Rep. Dennis Riddell
“Rep. Dennis Riddell has been unwavering in his commitment to passing the SAFE Child Act to protect children in North Carolina from abuse and sexual assault,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Because of him, children across the state are safer today. I appreciate his leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly.”
Since 2013, Rep. Dennis Riddell has represented the 64th district in the North Carolina House of Representatives, and is currently serving his fourth term. He also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1978 to 1988.
“I am honored to receive this award today on behalf of all sexual assault victims. This law is the culmination of hard work by both House and Senate Leadership and Attorney General Stein,” said Rep. Dennis Riddell. “This was one of the best examples of true bipartisanship working together to accomplish a very worthy and necessary change to our state laws for the good of everyone in North Carolina. To those victims, I want to say this bill is for you. If you’re a victim of child abuse, this bill is for you. If you’re an adult victim of sexual assault, this bill is for you. If you had your childhood innocence ripped out of your soul by an adult predator, this bill is for you.”
Police Chiefs Catrina Thompson and Wayne Scott
“Police Chiefs Catrina Thompson and Wayne Scott have been at the forefront of working to deliver justice for sexual assault victims and survivors in Winston-Salem and Greensboro,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Because of their great progress on testing older untested sexual assault kits in their custody, we are now seeing hits on cold cases and bringing offenders to justice. I appreciate their leadership to serve victims and survivors and keep our communities safe.”
Catrina Thompson is the fifteenth Chief of Police for the City of Winston-Salem. She is a native of Detroit, Michigan, where she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Additionally, she also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Appalachian State University. She has served the Winston-Salem Police Department for 25 years, and as chief, she leads a department with 570 sworn officers and 173 civilian positions.
“It is always our intent to investigate all cases, including sexual assaults, as thoroughly as possible,” said Chief Thompson. “We may not always get investigative leads that direct us to an immediate arrest but we want our citizens, especially our victims, to know that we will never stop following up on information. We will always use the latest technology to aid in solving crimes and bringing the offenders to justice, regardless of how long ago the offense occurred.”
Chief Wayne Scott joined the Greensboro Police Department August 1991 at 20 years old as a member of 68th PBIC. He became chief in 2015, and will retire in January 2020. He previously served as Commander of the Investigations Bureau and Commanding Officer of the Police Training Division. His career includes tours of duty in Patrol, Community Resources, Crash Reconstruction, Traffic Safety, Police Training, and as commander of the Patrol Bureau.
A full list of 2019 Dogwood Award Recipients is below:
- Wanda Boone, Together for Resilient Youth, Durham
- Mark Bowling, Vidant Health, Greenville
- Tom Brewer, President, Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association of North Carolina, Charlotte
- Danny Britt, Columbus and Robeson County
- Mandy Cohen, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh
- Casey Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Cherokee Indian Hospital, Cherokee
- Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, Durham Police Department
- Molly Diggins, State Director, Sierra Club, Raleigh
- Officer D.K. Evans, School Resource Officer, Greensboro Police Department
- Randy Evans, Founder and Director, Walking Tall Wilmington
- Dennis Gaddy, Founder and Executive Director, Community Success Initiative, Raleigh
- Chief Gina Hawkins, Fayetteville Police Department
- Sheriff John Ingram, Brunswick County
- Luka Kinard, Student/Speaker on Dangers of E-cigarettes, High Point
- Sheriff Alan Norman, Cleveland County
- Dennis Riddell, Alamance County
- Mayor Bob Scott, Franklin
- Chief Wayne Scott, Greensboro Police Department
- Mayor Patrick Taylor, Highlands
- Chief Catrina Thompson, Winston-Salem Police Department
- Don Waddell, General Manager, Carolina Hurricanes, Raleigh
- Chief Mike Yaniero, Jacksonville Police Department
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484