Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182
www.doccs.ny.gov

For immediate release:

Thursday June 8, 2006

Prison Commissioner Awards Medals To Four Employees For Acts Of Courage;
Ceremony Honors The 35 Employees Who Have Died In The Line Of Duty

State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) Commissioner Glenn S. Goord recognized four employees for their acts of courage during a ceremony at the DOCS' Training Academy on New Scotland Road in Albany.

The 4 p.m. Memorial Service and Medals Ceremony also honored the 35 employees who have died in the line of duty since 1861 as a result of inmate actions.

"These individuals displayed true heroism in their selfless acts of bravery," Commissioner Goord said. "In each situation, they placed their own safety at risk in order to help another. They are each true credits to their profession and their communities."

Award recipients (with full citations available at www.doccs.ny.gov) are:

  • Correction Officer Carl Hillman of Elmira Correctional Facility earned the Medal of Merit by rescuing a counselor in her office during an assault by an inmate. Officer Hillman interrupted the attack and prevented the inmate from causing more serious injury to the victim, very likely saving her life.
  • Sergeant Randy Bedore and Correction Officer Bobbi Jo Facteau of Adirondack Correctional Facility each earned Medals of Merit for their courageous rescue of an individual from a smoking vehicle, taking the accident victim out of harm's way before any other emergency responders arrived at the scene.
  • Correction Officer Randall Calhoun of Auburn Correctional Facility earned the Medal of Merit for ignoring the flames from a vehicle, reviving the 17-year-old driver, lifting him out of the vehicle, and securing his safety

Governor George E. Pataki recognized the award recipients in a letter, which read, "There can be no greater tribute bestowed on a person than the acknowledgment by others for the impressive and extraordinary achievements of one's life, and the DOCS Medal of Merit is a testament to your noble efforts, exemplary professionalism, and devotion to duty."

Senator Dale M. Volker said, "It has been my sincere honor over the years to participate in the New York State Department of Correctional Services' Memorial Service and Medals Ceremony. I continue to be impressed by the enormous sacrifices that our state's Correctional Officers and staff contribute to our well being and why they continue to be known as the finest correctional professionals in our nation. I commend all of you for your tremendous dedication and commitment to your profession and to the residents of the State of New York."

Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry said, "We are proud to be here to day to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the people of the State of New York."

Commissioner Goord said, "The 35 men and women we honor today will always be a part of the Department. Their memory reinforces the unwavering dedication shown each day by more than 30,000 employees charged with keeping our prisons safe and secure for all of New York's citizens."

The annual ceremony takes place at the permanent memorial park dedicated in 2000 in front of the Academy building on the 50-acre Albany campus. The centerpiece of the memorial park in front of the Academy is an Empire blue granite memorial that stands 12 feet high, six feet wide, 18 inches deep. It weighs 19,711 pounds. Rather than engraving the names of fallen employees on the memorial stone, they are enshrined with plaques displayed in the Academy Memorial Room. Governor Pataki's proclamation of June 4-10, 2006, as "Correctional Services Employee Week" is also on display there.

Today's ceremony brings to 133 the number of medals presented since the awards program began in 1984. Forty-five Medals of Honor were presented to employees "whose actions, in the line of duty, evidence an extraordinary degree of courage, bravery or heroism." The 88 Medals of Merit were presented to employees "for extraordinary performance in the line of duty or for an exceptional contribution to the Department."