NC flags ordered to half-staff for 2 fallen public safety employees

Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden, 50, and Correctional Officer Justin Smith, 35. (DPS)

(NEWS RELEASE) – Gov. Roy Cooper today ordered all North Carolina state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, October 13 from sunrise to sunset on Monday, October 16 in tribute to the two Department of Public Safety employees who died in the line of duty Thursday afternoon at Pasquotank Correctional Institution.

Correctional Officer Justin Smith had worked as a correctional officer since 2012.

Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden supervised inmates working in the Specialty Sewing Plant. She had been a Correction Enterprises employee since 2007 and previously worked as a correctional officer.

“Those who work in our prisons do a difficult and demanding job that is critical to our safety.” Gov. Roy Cooper said “We’re grateful to these fallen prison employees for their service, and we offer our condolences to their families, friends, coworkers and community on this tragic loss.”

“The DPS family is devastated by the tragic events that took place at Pasquotank Correctional Institution.” said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and co-workers of the employees who lost their lives in service to the State.”