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Correction News – June 2002

Department recognizes Correctional Officers of the Year

APEX – Twelve correctional officers from across the state were honored as Department of Correction Officers of the Year during a ceremony May 14.

The 12 were selected from more than 10,000 correctional officers who work for the Department.  The officers were recognized for various accomplishments, ranging from acts of heroism to initiating projects to improve operations of prison facilities and supervision of offenders.

During the ceremony, Correction Secretary Theodis Beck expressed the importance of the jobs correctional officers do.  “Each officer plays a critical role in preserving public safety, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude,” said Secretary Beck.  “To the officers being honored today, and to all those who work across the state every day, I say thank you for a job well done.”

The officers honored were: Roger B. Weber, Hoke Correctional Institution; Michael Todd Cooper, Morrison Correctional Institution; David Clark Cassady, Caswell Correctional Center; Angela Denise Powell, Caledonia Correctional Institution; Essex Lazzlo Hester, Polk Youth Institution; Debra Walser, Southern Correctional Institution; Elmer Reagon Macopson, Marion Correctional Institution; Timothy Kerley, Catawba Correctional Center; Christine W. Hinnant, Wayne Correctional Center; Michael Ray Harbin, Pender Correctional Institution; David Gilbert Schram, IMPACT East; and Garrett Robinson, IMPACT West.

David Cassady

Caswell Correctional Center

An eight-year veteran of the Department, Cassady is a lead correctional officer, supervising eight inmates and one correctional officer on a medium-custody road squad that clears trash along highways in the Caswell County area.  In his community, Cassady serves as a lieutenant and first responder for the Pelham Volunteer Fire Department, where he helps provide fire protection and emergency medical services.  He also is responsible for the fire department’s pension fund and fireman’s relief fund and maintenance of the department’s vehicles and buildings.  In addition, he volunteers with the Pelham Community Center and the Pelham Summerfest Committee.

Sgt. Michael Cooper

Morrison Correctional Institution

A seven-year veteran of the Department, Cooper is recognized for his outstanding leadership, attention to detail and administrative abilities.  MCI has significantly reduced overtime costs since Cooper designed a new form for recording overtime.  As one of the prison’s intelligence officers, he has helped confiscate drugs and weapons and identified inmate gang members. He also serves as an instructor, teaching CPR, pepper spray usage, straight baton usage, fire safety and hazard communication.

Cooper also helped Morrison earn one of its best safety inspections and helped draft a plan to protect the prison from possible terrorist activity.  A graduate of UNC-Charlotte, he has begun learning Spanish in order to communicate better with the Spanish-speaking inmate

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