Department of Public Safety honors 10 employees with Badge of Excellence

RALEIGH, NC (November 29, 2023) ⇒ The North Carolina Department of Public Safety recognized 10 remarkable employees Nov. 28 during the department’s annual Badge of Excellence Ceremony.

The Badge of Excellence award is the department’s highest honor. Since 2015, it has been bestowed on DPS employees who have made outstanding contributions to the department, state government and the people of North Carolina. In both their professional and personal lives, these recipients embody the department’s mission of reducing crime, enhancing public safety and serving the communities where they live.

Recipients were nominated by their peers and selected by the DPS Badge of Excellence Committee, earning awards in the fields of human relations; safety and heroism; innovation and efficiency; outstanding achievement; and public service and volunteerism.

“Their impact reflects their professional dedication and personal commitment to service and helping others both inside and outside of our department,” said DPS Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe during yesterday’s ceremony.

DPS is proud to recognize the following individuals as recipients of the 2023 Badge of Excellence.

Human Relations

Michelle Moore – As a Business Services Coordinator with Private Protective Services, Moore’s positive impact on the workplace culture cannot be overstated. Her exceptional communication skills, leadership and empathy enhance morale and promote a collaborative environment.

Innovation and Efficiency

Michele “Tammy” Wiggins – In just one year as Housing Opportunities Manager with the Community Development Office of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, Wiggins has designed and launched three innovative programs. She has done incredible work for affordable housing access.

Outstanding Achievement

John Shaw – Dr. Shaw is a G3 Executive Officer and Military Administrative Officer with the North Carolina National Guard whose achievements in creating and managing the Camp Butner Training Center buffer zone protection program have been critical to preserving the long-term viability of the NC National Guard’s sole field training site, as well as helping to safeguard Raleigh and Durham’s drinking water. He has also coordinated an effort to find and clear World War II-era unexploded ordnance from the lands near Camp Butner.

Public Service and Volunteerism

Nancy Galleo – State Capital Police Officer Galleo truly goes above and beyond to assist those in need, regularly volunteering to take on extra work commitments and to help out in her community. Officer Galleo participates in a feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return program, fosters cats and dogs, assists with community fitness competitions, provides aid to the elderly, and is a volunteer with both Boy Scouts of America and Special Olympics.

Safety and Heroism

Dean Fisher – When Alcohol Law Enforcement Special Agent Fisher executed a search warrant at a large underage party in Randolph County last January, one of the young people at the party could not be located by her parents. Special Agent Fisher found her in the near-freezing woods, face down and unresponsive. Special Agent Fisher alerted emergency services and carried her to a nearby residence to get her out of the cold, likely saving her life.

Korrie Drakes, Rickey Dixon and Jonathan Blaich – Sergeants First Class Drakes and Dixon and Sergeant Blaich were working at the National Guard recruiting office within the North Lake Mall in Charlotte when their training was called upon in an active shooter event. The team provided lifesaving first aid to two gunshot victims and prevented further harm with their quick thinking and courageous actions.

Kevin Smith – When State Highway Patrol Trooper Smith responded to a fire department dispatch about two small children who had fallen into a pond, he arrived at a scene with one four-year-old twin in cardiac arrest and the other barely breathing. Trooper Smith immediately assisted the responding fireman in stabilizing the children and later helped deliver one of them to the hospital. Thanks to Trooper Smith, both twins are alive today.

Robert Gram – State Highway Patrol Trooper Gram responded to a report of gunshots heard near a Cracker Barrel in October 2022. Upon arrival, he discovered a man lying on the ground suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, notified communications and immediately began first aid. Trooper Gram realized that the shooting suspect was still visible in the vicinity and proceeded to place the suspect in custody as soon as EMS arrived to take over first aid.

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