NIJO wishes to extend our congratulations to the following award recipients.
OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Corrections Deputy Ashton Merando Crawford County Sheriff's Office, KSAwarded to a Certified Detention Officer, without regard to years in service, who has exhibited professionalism and dedication to the Office and the community during the past year. Officer Ashton Merando has been a Corrections Officer for the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas for over 3 years. She has shown her willingness to do whatever is needed for this Office. She excels at her job and is not afraid to work and will work whenever she is needed and jumps at the opportunity to learn and do more. She recently, without hesitation, switched to a different shift that in no way benefited her, but benefited the jail staff as a whole. She will always ask what we need done or what she can do to help. She has shown her commitment to the Sheriff's Office and her value as an employee. Congratulations Deputy Ashton Merando!
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Corey Hanley Barrow County Sheriff's Office, GAAwarded to the Detention Center medical staff member who set the bar for jail medical programs and best represents the overall spirit of professionalism, caring, and dedication. This award is submitted by peer nominations from medical or detention staff members. When the facility made the decision to transition to a new medical service provider, Cory made the decision to stay on-board with the detention center and join the team being formed by the new provider, walking away from a recent promotion and new career opportunities with the former provider. He did this because of his dedication to our detention center and the desire to remain a part of our family. By making the decision to remain onboard, Cory significantly reduced many of the problematic logistical situations that typically occur in a transition of this nature all while showing outstanding leadership and morale in the process. Cory is also well liked and well respected by the staff of the facility. Due to this, it is extremely rare to encounter situations of distrust or animosity between the security staff and the members of the nursing staff. Congratulations Corey Hanley!
SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR
Sergeant Donnell Carter Mobile County Sheriff's Office, ALAwarded to Certified Detention Officers serving in a supervisory capacity who excel in their positions and are highly regarded by their staff for their consistent leadership, integrity, understanding and support, both professionally and personally, during the past year. Due to the untimely retirement of his reassigned Shift Commander, Sgt. Carter distinguished himself by going beyond the call of duty by humbly receiving the responsibility as Acting Shift Commander. Sgt. Carter supervises over 40-50 staff members daily. Under Sgt. Carter's leadership, employee retention has been retained within his shift by recognition of Corrections Staff's achievements by voicing affirmations, team spirit and/or other morale boosters. Sgt. Carter efficiently reassured the Daily Work Assignments was completed in its entirety to staff the Corrections Facility to continue the Operations of Security. There were cases when additional Corrections Sergeants were assigned to his shift, but sometimes, Sgt. Carter was the only Security Supervisor for the entire Mobile County Metro Jail because of employee shortfall due to vacation, sick , CT, etc. Sergeant Carter also diligently embraces numerous employee call outs due to some employees, employee family member, etc. contracting COVID-19 and their adherence to health regulation requirements. Sgt. Carter conducts impromptu training sessions with his team, investigates complaints and rule infractions, responds to emergency incidents (medical, inmates refusing to lock down, attempt suicides, fights, etc.), investigates and receives inmate complaints via Jail ATM, grievances, completes security checks throughout the facility and/or buildings, documents and submits a Daily Shift Commander Activity Report, and much more. Congratulations Sergeant Carter!
DETENTION ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR
Jail Commander Ed Roach Parke County Sheriff's Office, INThis award recognizes detention administrators who have shown exemplary leadership and contributed to the improvement of the jail environment positively for enhanced safety, security, and custody to benefit overall jail operations, officers, staff, inmates, and the general public. Jail Commander for 15 years, Ed Roach has many attributes, much knowledge of this career and truly has a passion for it and for others to exceed in this field. “I am currently a jail sergeant under Ed Roach, and I am thankful for his guidance and mentorship. He is truly fair and consistent when it comes to inmate issues and also employee issues.” Ed could have retired years ago but has chose to remain working as Jail Commander due to his passion and drive. He strives to remain in good physical shape by bicycling 30-40 miles each morning before the start of his day so that he is still physically able to do his job. We are a small department and fight keeping employees due to low pay and no overtime. Ed’s plate is already full each and every day but he still drops everything to come in to work when needed or when short handed to fill in a shift if other jail officers are unavailable.
DEDICATION TO EXCELLENCE AWARD (aka Overworked and Underpaid Award)The "Dedication to Excellence" Award is awarded to a detention officer, supervisor, or administrator who in the past year has gone above and beyond normal expectations by working extra hours, making extra effort to ensure the safety and security of staff members, inmates, and the general public.
Corporal Valerie Bryant Tarrant County Sheriff's Office, TX
Corrections Deputy Aaron Grace Roscommon County Sheriff's Office, MITypically this awarded goes to a detention officer, supervisor, or administrator who has put it all on the line, by either voluntarily risking his/her own personal safety to heroically serve and protect or who has made critical decisions or has taken preventive actions that ensured the safety and security of staff, inmates and the general public. Normally, we think of the big time events that take place and miraculous events that take incredible courage and valor, and yet, when this nomination came in, it stood out because it exemplifies that sometimes small and simple acts of valor are just as important, particularly to those that they affect. On July 11th, 2021 a dispatcher came across the radio saying there was an EMS call in the parking lot of the Sheriff Department with a male patient having an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Officer Grace grabbed the epi pen that was at station two of the jail and started responding towards station three then to the parking lot. While going to station three Cpl. Frydrych radioed to Officer Grace to come to station three to assist him and Officer Grace responded he was already on his way. Upon entering station three, Cpl. Frydrych was asking for assistance locating an epi pen. Officer Grace informed him he already had one with him. Officer Grace could see visible hives all over the patient’s neck, back and leg areas. At approximately 14:47 Officer Grace administered (1) EpiPen to the passengers right mid-thigh area. Officer Grace’s quick thinking and actions saved this individual in a matter of seconds. Officer Grace is 39 years old, married to wife Nicole and has two daughters Audrey and Eleanor. He has been with our department for 14 years, is also on Higgins Township Fire Department as assistant fire chief/EMS Coordinator for 21 years as well as Denton Township for over 8 years as an EMT. Officer Grace professionalism and dedication is a true asset to our department as well as the others he so valiantly serves. Congratulations and thank you for your life-saving actions, Deputy Grace!
NIJO PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONThe National Institute for Jail Operations developed the Professional Certification Program in response to the need to provide a respected national certification for individuals looking for a process that involved legal-based curriculum by an organization which supports and defends their agencies’ worthy goals and objectives. NIJO Professional Certification is a professional designation - earned not issued - for jail and detention officers, supervisors, administrators and sheriffs who have demonstrated to possess the requisite understanding, knowledge, skills, experience and abilities to function to a specific level. Achieving NIJO Certification is a significant accomplishment and reflects intense training, effort, experience and comprehension proving that an individual confidently knows and can follow clearly established laws and procedures in fulfilling his or her duties within a correctional facility.
National Certified Corrections Executive (NCCE) Certification was awarded to the following individuals:
Lieutenant Tammy Waddell
Limestone County Sheriff's Office, AL
Lieutenant Brad Fetner
Livingston County Sheriff's Office, MI
Lieutenant Tarneseia Pringle
Livingston County Sheriff's Office, MI
Box Elder County Sheriff's Office, UT
Duchesne County Sheriff's Office, UT
National Certified Corrections Supervisor (NCCS) Certification was awarded to the following individuals:
ColoradoShawn Patrick French Montezuma County Sheriff's Office Deputy Isaiah R. Begayne Johnson
Montezuma County Sheriff's Office