officer

December 2015

North Carolina agency recognized for giving back to the community

 

Community outreach matters to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau. In 2015, it won AAMVA’s Region II Community Service Award for sponsoring children in the Wake County Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program during the 2014 holiday season.

“The License and Theft Bureau’s District III office wanted to give back to the community, and in lieu of exchanging gifts for Christmas wanted to help children in need,” says Inspector Brittany Ausley, a North Carolina state law enforcement agent with the License and Theft Bureau in Raleigh. “What began as a small project quickly turned into something much larger.”

The GAL program is a group of volunteers who serve as court-appointed advocates for the hundreds of abused and neglected children in the Wake County protective services system. Guardians give the children a voice in court proceedings and see that their best interests are served in finding safe and permanent homes.

In particular, the License and Theft Bureau’s District III office wanted to give three siblings who had been placed in different foster homes a special Christmas. “Once the Raleigh district heard about these children in need and their stories, each and every officer and staff member went above and beyond to help in any way possible,” Ausley says.

The sponsorship was a success and the bureau ended up collecting so many gifts that the GAL representative had to make two trips to deliver all of them. And when two more children in the GAL program were in need of a sponsor, one of the bureau’s processing agents and her husband volunteered to give them a memorable Christmas as well.

In addition to its commitment to the GAL program during the holidays, the bureau also participates in other community outreach programs year-round. For example, members of the bureau coach inner-city softball, assist with the state Special Olympics through its annual Torch Run, and operate a Fish with a Cop program. An agent in the bureau’s Greenville district (District I) set up Fish with a Cop, which is similar to a Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Ausley says. The officer takes children to the lake or ocean and teaches them how to bait and catch a fish while spending quality time with them.

Ausley notes just how meaningful outreach programs like these are to the bureau. “It is important for the community to trust the local law enforcement, and this is one way our agency likes to get involved and give back to those in need. With the success from our Guardian Ad Litem [GAL] program last year in our Raleigh District, and other programs like Fish with a Cop, we can only hope the outreach programs at our agency will continue to grow within all seven of our districts statewide.”


Winning Entry

NC Employees
North Carolina License and Theft Bureau employees pictured with gifts for five children in the GAL program.

Every year, AAMVA honors individuals, teams and organizations in the motor vehicle and law enforcement community at the regional and international levels through its Community Service Awards. Judges select winners based on their exemplary commitment to safety, service, security, public affairs and consumer education. In particular, the Community Service Awards recognize agency ‘give back’ programs like food drives and gifts for children.

In 2015, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau won for sponsoring children in the Wake County Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program. This sponsorship is similar to the nationwide Shop with a Cop program, where police agencies present underprivileged children in their communities with a fun holiday event of shopping, food, games and quality time with officers.