State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced the appointment of Becky Wallace as director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Wallace assumed her new position on March 14.
“Becky is a recognized leader in law enforcement and a dedicated public servant,” Conti said. “Her firsthand knowledge, experience and coalition-building skills will benefit our partnerships across the state, and help us make traveling in North Carolina even safer.”
As director of GHSP, Wallace will oversee the daily operations of the organization to carry out its mission to promote highway safety awareness and reduce the number of traffic crashes and fatalities in the state.
GHSP receives funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that must be used towards highway safety projects. GHSP awarded 144 grants, totaling more than $16 million, to police departments, sheriff’s offices and other state and local agencies across North Carolina for the 2011 grant year.
The grants are awarded annually based on need, commitment to highway safety, traffic crash and fatality data. The federal funding also is used to support GHSP’s highway safety initiatives “Click It or Ticket” and “Booze It & Lose It,” which have become national models.
Wallace’s salary of $91,500 is paid for with 50 percent federal and 50 percent state funds.
Wallace is a retired U.S. Marshal who oversaw the Middle District of North Carolina, which covers 24 counties, from 1994-2004. She is the first and, to date, only female U.S. Marshal appointed in North Carolina. Under her leadership, the U.S. Marshal Service Violent Fugitive Task Force was created in 1994, bringing together a diverse group of local, state and federal law enforcement officers.
Through the task force, 1,600 arrests were made in that first year alone. Additionally, Wallace’s district was awarded the U.S. Marshal Director’s Distinguished District Award in 2000. Among her numerous awards, Wallace also received the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award from the National Center for Women and Policing.
Prior to serving as a U.S. Marshal, Wallace was a police officer for her hometown of Troy, a Montgomery County deputy sheriff and N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement agent. She currently is self-employed.
Former GHSP director David Weinstein retired at the end of December 2010.