Author: Brad Deen
DPS and Prisons leadership and staff took time today to memorialize correctional employees who have died in the line of duty. The annual observance took place during Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week with a ceremony held at the Randall Building in downtown Raleigh.
“This solemn but important occasion honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duty, to keep us all safe,” said N.C. DPS Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe Jr. “When duty called, they answered time and time again until the ultimate call came.”
Setting the tone for the solemn ceremony were music, the Prisons Honor Guard and 26 red roses—one for each Prisons employee since 1915 who died at the hands of offenders. As each name and date of death was read aloud, a Prisons employee stepped forward to place a single rose into a vase.
A final, pink rose symbolized the 21 Prisons staff who are known to have died of COVID.
Although the dead were at the forefront of the remembrance, Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee said it contains a lesson for Prisons staff who currently serve and protect the public.
“As we remember our fallen brothers and sisters, we cannot forget the risk that’s inherent to correctional officers,” Ishee said.