To the editor:
The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association is the largest law enforcement association in North Carolina. We are supporting Rep. Bob Steinburg’s efforts to create legislative oversight of the North Carolina prison system. In April of this year, Sgt. Meggan Callahan was brutally murdered at the Bertie Correctional Institute. Recently, correctional officers and staff were injured and killed in an attempted prison break at Pasquotank Correctional Institution. There are numerous correctional officers working in prisons across the state that are equally as vulnerable.
Rep. Steinburg has called for a legislative task force on prison reform. He is also calling for subpoena power. Reform topics would include discussion on safety, staffing, equipment, training, management practices, pay and providing a death benefit for correctional officers.
We fully support Rep. Steinburg’s effort to involve the legislature in delving deeply into what is clearly a broken system. Correctional officers face incredible dangers everyday and these dangers continue to be exacerbated by gross mismanagement and understaffing. Correctional officers are also facing the fear of retaliation if they come forward to report these issues. The time is now to address these issues before we have another death.
North Carolina Police Benevolent Association