SACRAMENTO - The memory of California Institution for Men (CIM) Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez Jr., who died in the line of duty on Jan. 10, 2005, was invoked at a ceremony on Friday at CIM when a portion of a state highway was renamed in his honor.
CDCR Secretary Matt Cate joined CIM Warden (A) Aref Fakhoury, Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-32), and other local elected officials as State Highway Route 71 between State Highway 60 and Central Avenue in San Bernardino County was renamed the Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez Jr. Memorial Highway on Sept. 18. The dedication ceremony was postponed due the Aug. 8-9 riot that involved more than 1,200 inmates and required relocating them to other local adult and juvenile facilities.
"We are grateful to Sen. McLeod and others in the Legislature who stepped up to honor Officer Gonzalez, who will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of his family and his fellow employees," said Cate. "The naming of this highway in his memory will serve as a constant reminder of the dedication of our correctional employees and the dangers they encounter daily."
Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 11 at the request of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. The resolution was co-sponsored by former Sen. Bob Margett (R-29) and Asm. Nell Soto (D-61). The resolution read in part: "Whereas, Considered a consummate professional, Officer Gonzalez was a well-respected and reliable employee who went beyond his duties in order to assist other staff members and worked diligently to make prison facilities more safe... therefore, let it be Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby dedicates the portion of State Highway Route 71...as the Correctional Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, Jr., Memorial Highway."
Officer Gonzalez joined the CDCR in 1988, serving the people of California at California State Prison, Corcoran, California State Prison Los Angeles County, and at CIM.