Friday, May 16, 2008

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Honors Employees for Heroism, Outstanding Service at Annual Medal of Valor Ceremony

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Medal of Valor event

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honorees



Four Honored with Medal of Valor for Extraordinary Courage

SACRAMENTO - The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today awarded Medals of Valor, the Department’s highest award for heroism and courage beyond the normal demands of correctional service to four employees: Correctional Officer Elizabeth O’Campo, Ironwood State Prison, Correctional Officer William A. Roper, Wasco State Prison, Youth Correctional Officer Benjamin Flores, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility, and Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender, Division of Adult Parole Operations. The awards were presented by CDCR Secretary James E. Tilton at a ceremony on the West Steps of the State Capitol. Nearly 100 employees received awards that ranged from the Medal of Valor to Unit Citations.

The Medal of Valor is “earnedby employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.”

Correctional Officer O’Campo was honored for coming to the rescue of a fellow correctional officer after more than nine inmates attacked the officer with weapons and Officer O’Campo was herself attacked. She fended off the attack and defended the officer and also coming to the rescue of another officer who was struck in the face with a trashcan.

Correctional Officer Roper was cited for “risking his own life to save the life” of a woman whose pickup truck was on fire after a serious automobile accident. The woman had sustained two broken legs and a broken back, and Officer Roper went to her rescue and pulled her to safety.

Youth Correctional Officer Flores was recognized for intervening and protecting a youth correctional counselor who was under attack by nine wards, who were repeatedly kicking and stomping the counselor on his back, upper body, neck, head and face. In his nomination, Flores was honored for “bravery, courage and life-saving actions.”

Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender was cited for “conspicuous bravery…in the face of immediate life-threatening peril” when he successfully located an elderly man in a burning house, bringing him to consciousness, and leading the disoriented man to safety.

Also honored at today’s ceremony were Correctional Officer Maria G. Murrieta, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility as the 2008 Correctional Officer of the Year, and Correctional Case Records Supervisor Rhonda Baker, Mule Creek State Prison, as the 2008 Correctional Supervisor of the Year.

Complete List of 2008 Award Winners


Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.

Correctional Officer Elizabeth O’Campo, Ironwood State Prison

Correctional Officer William A. Roper, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

Youth Correctional Officer Benjamin Flores, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Jimmy Gruender, Division of Adult Parole Operations



Gold Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the Department’s second highest award for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Fred Daniel Martinez, California Institution for Men

Correctional Sergeants Arron Audette and Todd Posch; Correctional Officers Douglas Brooks, William Denton and Tina Lucas, High Desert State Prison

Correctional Officer Anis De La Cruz, Wasco State Prison

Youth Correctional Officer James Crain, N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Shad Colbert and Parole Agent I Eric Kraus, Office of Correctional Safety



Silver Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Silver) medal is the Department’s third highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish himself or herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgment.

Correctional Officer Steven A. Montgomery, California Correctional Center

Correctional Officers John Brown and Umberto Resendez, California Correctional Institution

Correctional Officer Edward Becerra, California Men’s Colony

Correctional Counselor I Darren White, California State Prison-Corcoran

Correctional Sergeant Bryan M. Bishop and Correctional Officer Scott S. Camp, California State Prison-Sacramento

Fire Captain Eduardo Medina, Centinela State Prison

Correctional Officer Sergio Almodovar, Ironwood State Prison

Correctional Lieutenants Reginald Lawson and Peter M. Zinser, R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Correctional Lieutenant Vicki Contreras, N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Alex Hoang, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent IIs Curtis Smith and Jaime Caballero; Parole Agent Is Jon Ashley, James Bellmeyer and Robert Wheeler, Office of Correctional Safety



Bronze Star Medal

The Corrections Star (Bronze) is the Department’s award for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.

Correctional Officer Gary E. Allhiser, California Correctional Center

Harold Su-Ay, Correctional Officer, California Institution for Men

Correctional Sergeant Lori Dark and Correctional Officer Mike Gobbell, California Men’s Colony

Fire Service Training Specialist John J. Hurley, California Medical Facility

Correctional Sergeant Charles Gibson, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Arnoldo Hernandez, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Ney Vencer, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Officer Chris B. Wuest, California State Prison-Sacramento

Correctional Sergeant Pedro Chanelo Jr., Correctional Training Facility

Correctional Officers Kenneth Coffman, Rodolfo Padilla, Barnabe Torres and Marc White, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran; Correctional Officer Raymond Montion, North Kern State Prison

Correctional Officer Joel Adam Martin, Folsom State Prison

Correctional Sergeant James Fitzpatrick, Kern Valley State Prison

Correctional Officer Kerri Sweeny, Kern Valley State Prison

Correctional Sergeants Gregory Gordon and Kathy Ohland; Correctional Officers Will Baptista, Joseph Ross, Pamela Russell, and Donald Thomas, Pelican Bay State Prison

Correctional Officer Ryan Hormel, Valley State Prison for Women

Correctional Officer Carlos Rodriguez, Wasco State Prison

Program Administrator Joe Hartigan, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Youth Correctional Captain Fernando Quiroz, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Parole Agent I Russell Wayne Skinner, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I Perry Little, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I John Edelman, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent II David Fernandez; Parole Agent Is Stephen Cornwell and Christopher Morris, Office of Correctional Safety

Senior Special Agent Joe Galvan; Special Agents Scott Barnett, Azell Middlebrooks and Bryan Shill, Office of Internal Affairs

Correctional Lieutenant James Bales; Correctional Sergeants Anthony Murphy and Richard Bishop, Office of Correctional Safety; Correctional Officer Damon Reynoso, California Men’s Colony



Distinguished Service Medal

The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.

Correctional Lieutenant Michael Brownell, California Rehabilitation Center

Vocational Instructor Michael E. Doud, Mule Creek State Prison

Executive Assistant Thomas Paul Gaines, Wasco State Prison

Parole Agent I Donnie Elliott, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent II Ken Wong, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Parole Agent I Wesley Heninger, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Correctional Captain Dan Elledge; Correctional Lieutenants Ronald Bickford, Shawn Brown, Mike Davis, Tim Dolan, Trond Gottfried, Doug McClure, and Charlie Rogers; Correctional Sergeants Chris Modlin and Chris Paris, Office of Correctional Safety/Emergency Operations Unit

Special Agent Daniel Evanilla, Office of Correctional Safety



Unit Citation

The Unit Citation is for great courage displayed by a departmental unit in the course of conducting an operation in the face of immediate life-threatening circumstances.

Supervising Registered Nurse III/Director of Nursing Mark Bravo, Nurse Practitioner Don Jeske, Youth Correctional Officers Paul Diaz, Anthony Jordan and Ken Marks, Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility

Senior Youth Correctional Counselor Jeanne Espinosa, Youth Correctional Officer Dean Kirby, Youth Correctional Counselors Stanley Scott and Ernie Souza, N.A Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility

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