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Press Release

North Carolina Gang Investigators Association Recognizes District Employee And Community Organization For Their Work

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced that a U.S. Attorney’s Office employee and a community organization in Asheville were recognized by the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association (NCGIA) today, at the annual Gangs Across the Carolinas conference in Winston-Salem.

The NCGIA is an association of law enforcement and criminal justice professionals, dedicated to the prevention of gang-related activity within the state of North Carolina. Each year, NCGIA hosts the Gang Free North Carolina (GFNC) Awards, to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of law enforcement personnel, community programs, and criminal justice professionals in the Carolinas for their work in their field.

This year, the NCGIA recognized Shirley Rutledge who works as a Victim Witness Coordinator in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is responsible for providing services to victims and witnesses of federal crimes. Ms. Rutledge is the recipient of the NCGIA’s Civilian of the Year Award, in recognition of her exemplary work with the Emergency Witness Assistance Program (EWAP). The program provides emergency services and assistance to witnesses and helps them participate in the prosecution of federal cases. As part of her duties, Ms. Rutledge works to ensure that federal witnesses receive the support and services they need throughout the litigation process.

“Shirley is a dedicated public servant whose work with witnesses is vital to the successful prosecution of federal cases,” said U.S. Attorney King. “Shirley has a thorough knowledge of the EWAP program and always goes the extra mile to ensure that witnesses are treated fairly and respectfully and they are afforded all the protections and services they need to help federal prosecutors with their cases. Shirley’s skills are invaluable to my Office and to law enforcement, and her work enables us to continue to make cases against the most violent offenders and hold criminals accountable for their actions.”

The NCGIA also recognized Keynon Lake and his organization “My Daddy Taught Me That” (MDTMT), for its work with young males in the greater Asheville area. MDTMT is a youth development program designed to support young men through advocacy, education, and mentoring. The program focuses on helping adolescent males to transition successfully into adulthood by cultivating and developing strong interpersonal skills, good decision-making, acceptance of responsibility, and accountability for their actions.

“Mr. Lake and his organization provide important youth intervention and development services to underserved communities in Asheville,” said U.S. Attorney King. “I want to thank Mr. Lake for his outstanding work in the area of youth and community development and violence prevention. His work with young people complements law enforcement efforts to increase the health, safety and well-being of those we serve, and fulfil our mission to keep communities strong and thriving.”

Additional information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Assistance Program can be found here.

Updated August 8, 2023

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