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Secretary's Message

December 14, 2012

Wansley Walters

Dear DJJ team members:

 

Today’s tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has saddened all of us. The dead and injured, and their families, are in our thoughts and prayers.   

 Please allow me to share some recent news and announcements.

ROADMAP UPDATE: Next week I will be in South Florida to lead a series of Town Hall meetings about the Roadmap to System Excellence. Please join me at these final Roadmap meetings of 2012 if your schedule permits. I will be in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday and Miami on Thursday. All Town Hall meetings start at 6:00 pm and are open to the public. Please check the Roadmap webpage for complete details on meeting locations. Additional Roadmap Town Hall meetings are planned for early 2013.

CONGRATULATIONS: The following team members graduated today from basic officer training at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Tallahassee. They completed 240 hours of training to become certified as juvenile justice detention officers.

Today's detention officer graduation in Tallahassee 

Today’s detention officer graduation in Tallahassee

Brian Barron, Bay Regional Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC)
Scott Cooper, Marion RJDC
Kenneth Grice, Leon RJDC
Alvin Horne, Volusia RJDC
Jessica Jaramillo, Volusia RJDC
Deadre Jones, Bay RJDC
Jessica Mason, Marion RJDC
Anthony Paolini, Volusia RJDC
Darrel Perez-Fondeur, Marion RJDC
Tiffany Philips, Bay RJDC
Max Ramirez, Escambia RJDC
Esperanza Rietz, Escambia RJDC
Robert Rutherford, Bay RJDC
James Spencer, Volusia RJDC

50 LARGE: On Tuesday I joined Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons and Tallahassee Community College President Dr. Jim Murdaugh at an event to benefit 50 LARGE, hosted by the Crepevine Restaurant in Tallahassee. 50 LARGE is a Leon County Schools organization that helps under-privileged and under-served young men with troubled pasts turn their lives around. Click here to learn more about the 50 LARGE initiative.


Speaking with Adam Corey of the Crepevine Restaurant at the 50 LARGE event

PREVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Eugene Morris truly has a heart for kids. By day, he helps at-risk youth and their families get the prevention, intervention and treatment services they need to prosper – a clear benefit to the public as well. Then, on the weekends each year during the holiday season, in support of the Believe Campaign, he retrieves letters that have been written to Santa Claus from the Macy’s mailbox at the Governor’s Square Mall in Tallahassee. For each letter collected, Macy’s donates up to two dollars to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that helps restore hope for children with life-threatening medical conditions and their families by providing them with an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes and has granted more than 225,000 wishes since it was established in 1980. To learn more, visit www.wish.org.


Eugene Morris collects letters to Santa for Make-A-Wish

CHRISTMAS EVE REMINDER: Gov. Scott has directed all state executive buildings to be closed on Monday, Dec. 24. State employees should use the People First leave code 0056 (administrative leave – authorized other) on your timecard. Employees who are required to work that day due to staffing needs will be permitted to take an equivalent amount of leave no later than June 30, 2013. Please note: OPS employees are not eligible. Click the links to view the announcement from the Department of Management Services and the related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document

HOLIDAY PHOTOS WANTED: If you are performing work-related community service during the holidays (such as tending the Salvation Army kettle, organizing food drives or helping those in need in some way), I would like to know about it. Please share photos of you or your colleagues helping out during the holidays, with a brief explanation of who is doing what, and they will be published in my Dec. 21 weekly letter and on DJJ’s Facebook page. Please submit your holiday photos and captions to news@djj.state.fl.us.

Please be mindful of the fact that many of the young people in our care won’t be spending the holidays in their own homes and that now is the time to give them extra attention and care. Thank you for your dedication to our valuable, vulnerable kids.         

 

Sincerely,

 

Wansley Walters

Secretary

 

PS: Please send any noteworthy or newsworthy items for consideration in my weekly letter to Communications Director C. J. Drake at cj.drake@djj.state.fl.us or call 850.921.5905. Submissions are considered on a space-available basis and may be edited for clarity and length. Thank you for your cooperation.

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