Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner

Contact: Thomas W. Mailey
Office of Public Information
(518) 457-8182

For immediate release:

Thursday, June 12, 2014


ALBANY - The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner, Anthony J. Annucci, joined by Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Public Safety, Thomas Abt, today awarded one Medal of Honor and four Medals of Merit for humanitarian and courageous acts, while honoring the memory of employees who have died in the line of duty since 1861.

In a message to those gathered, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said: "Today’s ceremony continues an important tradition in New York State law enforcement by providing an opportunity to recognize courageous individuals in the Department, and to salute all of the dedicated men and women at DOCCS who safeguard the people and communities of our state each day. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend appreciation to the families of those who died in the line of duty. We will always honor their memory and their distinguished service."

The 15th annual Memorial Service and Medals Ceremony took place at 1 p.m. at the Department’s Albany Training Academy on New Scotland Road. Related materials, including the full citations, are available on line at

Medal of Honor

Correction Officer Nicholas Dimase, now retired from Green Haven Correctional Facility (Dutchess County), earned the Medal of Honor for rescuing a Sergeant, who had collapsed while fighting a smoky facility fire.

Medal of Merit

Correction Officers Erwin Emminger and Bradley Walters from Attica Correctional Facility (Wyoming County) earned the Medal of Merit for entering a burning house, saving the four residents, and evacuating nearby residents.

Maintenance Assistant William Wiese from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Westchester County) earned the Medal of Merit for helping rescue a woman who was being carjacked.

Keyboard Specialist 2 Debra Lucchese from Shawangunk Correctional Facility (Ulster County) earned the Medal of Merit for saving an elderly female neighbor from her burning house.

Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Thomas Abt said, "We commend today’s honorees, who saved lives with their quick judgment, bravery, and willingness to sacrifice. They are part of DOCCS’s long tradition of commitment to public service and protecting the people of New York. We also remember the 42 heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, and are thankful that no additional names are being added at this year’s event."

NYS Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell said, "Today we honor five exemplary employees of New York's Department of Correction and Community Supervision. The incredible bravery and quick action of these Corrections professionals saved lives and were invaluable in dealing with dangerous situations. They are all deserving of this great honor. Today we also remember those employees who gave their lives in the line of duty, and thank them from our hearts for their sacrifice."

NYS Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, "Corrections Officers perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the state. Their outstanding work, often under the most stressful conditions, deserves everyone’s respect and admiration. Today we honor and remember 42 corrections employees that gave their lives in the line of duty, and recognize the courage of five others who went above and beyond to provide extraordinary service to the people of New York State."

Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci said, "This sacred, annual ceremony reaffirms two bedrock principles of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The first is that we will always formally acknowledge and honor those employees who have exhibited extraordinary valor and heroism in the past year. The second is that, regardless of the passage of time, we will never forget those Department employees who have given their lives in the line of duty."

The annual ceremony takes place at the Academy’s 50-acre Albany campus. Since 1984, the Department has awarded 118 Medals of Merit and 48 Medals of Honor. The centerpiece of the memorial park in front of the Academy is an Empire blue granite memorial that stands 12 feet high, 6 feet wide, 18 inches deep and weighs 19,711 pounds. The names of fallen employees are enshrined with plaques displayed in the Academy Memorial Room. Governor Cuomo’s proclamation of June 8-14, 2014 as "Corrections and Community Supervision Employee Week" is also on display there. Photographs from the ceremony will be available by evening.