05/06/05 — Harris named Officer of Year

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Harris named Officer of Year

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 6, 2005 1:46 PM

From staff reports

A 10-year veteran at Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro has been selected as one of 11 Correctional Officers of the Year in North Carolina.

Sgt. Larry Harris was honored with a framed certificate during a ceremony before state corrections officials, colleagues, family and friends in Apex.

Harris, who has worked for the prison system for 20 years, was recognized for his communication skills. Neuse Superintendent John Crawford said Harris's skills have contributed greatly to the safety and security of the prison.

"He readily handles difficult inmates to de-escalate situations that could become more volatile," Crawford said. "If an inmate starts creating problems, Sgt. Harris most of the time can get the inmate calmed down before it gets out of hand."

Harris constantly has a positive, helpful, hard-working attitude and conducts himself professionally at all times, Crawford said. His demeanor affects both the staff and inmates.

"They have developed respect for Sgt. Harris," Crawford said, "because he has built a foundation of dependability and reliability through his work ethic and actions. He sets the example for his staff and others."

Harris joined the Corrections Department in 1985 as an officer at Central Prison in Raleigh. He was transferred to Neuse 10 years later and promoted to sergeant.

The ceremony was attended by Corrections Secretary Theodis Beck and Prisons Director Boyd Bennett. It came during Correctional Officers Week, which was proclaimed by Gov. Mike Easley to recognize the work of more than 11,000 officers in the state's 76 prisons.