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AK DOC Today
News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections
Administrative Assistant Nancy Ogram was honored by her coworkers as she was presented a 15-year service pin on November 26th at the Commissioner’s Office in Anchorage. “Nancy is the picture of dedication, caring and fairness,” said Probation and Parole Director Carrie Belden. “She has been a tremendous asset to our division over the years and I can’t say enough nice things about her professionally and personally.”
Nancy often fills in for the Commissioner’s secretary when she is away, and performs other duties as needed. “Nancy is so dedicated and organized,” added Executive Secretary Kay Schmidt. “She is a wonderful asset to the Department and a great pleasure to work with.”
The Department of Corrections maintained a display booth at the annual Governor’s Picnics in Anchorage, Palmer, Fairbanks and Juneau. The DOC booths featured displays of prisoner-grown produce (from Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm) and hand-crafted items from Palmer Correctional Center, Lemon Creek Correctional Center and Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. Thanks to input and assistance from numerous staff members, the booths were a success with a great deal of interaction with the community: from former prisoners to tourists from Australia.
Retired CO Ned Entwistle, Commissioner Joe Schmidt and Deputy Commissioner Leslie Houston represented the Department of Corrections at the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation Annual Memorial Service held Friday, June 6th in Bellevue, Washington. Seventeen fallen officers were honored at the ceremony, representing state corrections departments, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The annual memorial is held at a different location each year. Close to a dozen Honor Guards, including a bagpipe and drum corps, participated in the event.
Beginning in 2009, the Governor has championed ‘ending the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault’ in Alaska, through a series of marches, rallies and community events focused on the theme: ‘Choose Respect.’ This year five from our department were asked by the Governor to lead these events around the state. Commissioner Joe Schmidt and Deputy Commissioner Leslie Houston led ‘Choose Respect’ events in Kiana and Kotzebue, while Deputy Directors Sherrie Daigle and Lee Sherman led events in Angoon and Hooper Bay, respectively. Inmate Health Care Director Laura Brooks led the Choose Respect event in Galena. Events included marches, community potluck lunches and events for youth and children.
PO III Mike Dunham and Division Director Carrie Belden went to Gambell on St. Lawrence island for the Choose Respect March on March 27. Representing the Governor, Dunham and Belden met with village leaders, the school assistant principal, the VPSO and other members of the community. Speeches were given in the gym of the school and due to cold weather and wind the march was also conducted in the gym. “The school conducted a week long Choose Respect campaign where classes of all ages participated. Gambell March organizers Lucy and Edna Apatiki and VPSO Debbie Apatiki did an excellent job organizing the event,” Belden said.
Commissioner Joe Schmidt along with Special Assistant Kaci Schroeder represented Governor Sean Parnell at the ‘Choose Respect’ Rally and March in Barrow on Friday, March 29, 2013. Close to 100 residents took part in the quarter-mile march from the Kiita Learning Center to the Inupiat Heritage Center. The Commissioner addressed the crowd and after the march participated in a community potluck lunch.
The Central Transportation Unit received an honorable mention Denali Award in the category of crisis responder — team. The award was presented to Officers Kelly Daniels, Lynn Hays and Robert Pack by Governor Sean Parnell and Commissioner Joe Schmidt at Centennial Hall in Juneau on May 12.
In November Officers Kelly Daniels and Lynn Hays were transporting nine prisoners to Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward. While in route they were flagged down by an injured motorist, and then observed that two vehicles had been in a head-on collision. While Officer Hays radioed for help, Officer Daniels addressed the needs of the wounded and set flares to warn approaching traffic. Officer Pack, who was off duty at the time, came upon the scene and quickly put his EMT training to work as he provided assistance to the motorist trapped in a vehicle. When emergency responders were on the scene, he, with his fellow officers, helped extract the injured motorist and then provide traffic control.
Officer Daniels began his career with the Department of Corrections in 1997, transferring to the Central Transportation Unit in 2003. He is the unit’s most senior member and a current firearms instructor. Officer Hays began his career as a Correctional Officer at Spring Creek Correctional Center in 1996, and has worked at the 6th Avenue Jail and Mat-Su Pretrial Facility until joining the Central Transportation Unit in 2005. Officer Pack began his career with the department in 2003 and was certified as a Transportation Officer in 2006. He has previously volunteered as an EMT.
Officer Daniels is a licensed pilot and enjoys time spent on his boat and at his cabin. Officer Hays owns a semi-truck and is looking for a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am to restore. Officer Pack owns a chicken ranch in Seward and enjoys fresh eggs.
Commissioner Joe Schmidt along with other commissioners appeared before the AFN (Alaska Federation of Natives) Board of Directors on Thursday, Feb. 10 in Juneau. The commissioner provided a brief overview of department goals and answered questions from board members. The meeting was held in Juneau. The board also heard from the state’s congressional delegation at the afternoon session.