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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Crime Control and Public Safety, Department of

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006; Revised December 2021

A triangular depiction of the North Carolina flag.  A thick black triangle outlines the flag and words on the triangle read "Crime Control & Public Safety North Carolina."The 1977 General Assembly passed legislation to restructure and rename the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) as the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. The new department received the powers and responsibilities of a number of state agencies. From the old DMVA were transferred the National Guard and the Adjutant General, the Civil Preparedness Agency, and the Civil Air Patrol. The State Highway Patrol was transferred from the Division of Motor Vehicles of the Department of Transportation. The State Board of Alcoholic Control's Enforcement Division was transferred from the Department of Commerce. The Governor's Crime Commission (created in 1967 as the Governor's Committee on Law and Order), the Division of Crime Control, the Criminal Justice Information System Board, and the Criminal Justice Information Security and Privacy Board all became part of the new department.

In 1981 the Butner Public Safety Office was transferred to the department as the division responsible for police and fire protection for the state hospital facilities at Butner. Two years later the Victim and Justice Service Division was established to administer community service programs as alternative punishments to prison. This division also operated the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons and the Rape Victim Assistance Program. In 1987 the state legislature established the North Carolina Crime Victims Compensation Fund and Commission and placed it under the department's authority.

The modern Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, headed by a gubernatorially appointed secretary, oversees the many governmental areas involving the safety and well-being of North Carolinians, including response to terrorism, civil unrest, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Among its several boards and commissions are the Governor's Advisory Commission on Military Affairs, the Juvenile Law Study Commission, and the Office of Homeland Security.

In January 2012, the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, the Department of Correction, and the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention were merged into a combined Department of Public Safety.

Additional Resources:

Department of Crime Control and Public Safety website: (accessed December 3, 2012).

North Carolina General Assembly.  "An act to restructure and rename the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs as the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety." Session Laws. Chapter 70. 1977. (accessed December 3, 2012).

ryanteaguebeckwith "What does the Crime Control Secretary do?" News and Observer [Raleigh]. December 5, 2008. (accessed December 3, 2012).

ryanteaguebeckwith "Crime Control as a launching pad?" News and Observer [Raleigh]. December 8, 2008. (accessed December 3, 2012).

"Ask Anything: 10 questions with N.C. Secretary of Crime Control & Public Safety." September 23, 2008. (accessed December 4, 2012).

Image Credits:

Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. "Department of Crime Control and Public Safety logo. Various documents." about 1977. North Carolina Digital Collections. Accessed Mar. 13, 2024.|Full%20text&applyState=true