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U.S. Attorney Dena King standing in a group photo with students from the class after her presentation

U.S. Attorney speaks to ICC Criminal Justice class

By: Mike Gavin
Published: March 25, 2024

SPINDALE (March 25, 2024) – The top law enforcement official in North Carolina’s 32 westernmost counties spent some time with some students at Isothermal Community College recently.

U.S. Attorney Dena King of the North Carolina Western District visted last Thursday morning with students taking the Law Enforcement Operations class, which is part of the college’s Criminal Justice Technology program.

King is one of 93 U.S. Attorneys nationwide. The positions are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. She is the first person of color to serve in the position for the Western District.

King was invited to speak to the class by instructor Chris Francis, who has been teaching in the program since he served as Rutherford County’s sheriff.

“Ms. King has some great insights and experience to share with our students,” said Francis. “I’m very thankful she is able to talk to them and tell some first-hand stories that are directly related to what these students are learning about.”

King described the setup of her offices of approximately 100 federal prosecutors and staff, located in Charlotte, Statesville, and Asheville, that serve more than three million residents including residents of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation.

She answered many questions from the students that led to some interesting stories about her work while encouraging the students to pursue their interests in the field.

“Whatever it is you want to do, you can find a career in the criminal justice system,” she said.

U.S. Attorney King graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina State University in 2003, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. Ms. King received her Juris Doctor in 2006, from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Isothermal’s Criminal Justice Technology curriculum is designed to provide knowledge of criminal justice systems and operations. Studies focus on local, state, and federal law enforcement, judicial processes, corrections, and security services. 

Employment opportunities for graduates exist in a variety of local, state, and federal law enforcement, corrections, and security fields. Examples include police officer, deputy sheriff, county detention officer, state trooper, intensive probation/parole surveillance officer, correctional officer, and loss prevention specialist. Students may also pursue education in the legal field.

For more information, contact Francis at or 828-395-1448.