OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Department of Corrections staff lay it all on the line each day for Oklahomans, each other and our state’s inmates.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, ODOC gives thanks for these individuals who give selflessly in service to the state.
Just before this week’s holiday, the agency honored nine staff, a dedicated volunteer husband and wife, an Oklahoma City church, and a team of probation and parole officers at its annual awards ceremony at the Will Rogers Theatre.
“This was our way of thanking staff and volunteers who make this system work,” ODOC Director Joe M. Allbaugh said. “While we honored nine staff on Friday, we greatly appreciate all our staff’s efforts protecting the public, each other, and our inmates every day, 24-7.”
Past years’ recipients have saved inmates lives, or those of their colleagues, or risked their own lives to stop an assault or similar crime.
This year’s recipients were no different.
Earning the Medal of Valor was North Fork Correctional Center’s Sgt. Rodney Spencer.
Last August, Spencer immediately responded to a large fight among armed inmates on an NFCC housing unit.
Spencer saw one inmate down on the dayroom floor, surrounded by others beating him senseless. He rushed in and separated them, stopping the beating and saving the inmate’s life.
Other recipients include the agency’s teacher of the year, Sally Stone, a former Muskogee Public Schools teacher who’s been teaching at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft since she retired 2004.
Others include Stan and Pat Mills, who’ve been ODOC volunteers for decades, receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Oklahoma City’s Crossings Community Church earned Volunteer Organization of the Year. Nurse of the Year was Rainey Alvarado.
Sgt. Tyler Babbie, of Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, was Correctional Officer of the Year, and Debbie Moore, division support coordinator, was agency Employee of the Year. Lt. Steve Clay, of Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft, was Correctional Officer Supervisor of the Year. Dick Conner Correctional Center Sgt. DaRell Guess received the agency’s Award of Merit.
Probation and Parole Officer of the year was Brandi Chamberlain, and P&P Supervisor of the Year was Officer Jon Herlan. His team of officers, based in the Miami area, received ODOC’s Team Excellence Award.
ODOC will be featuring these staff and volunteers this week on its website, doc.ok.gov/newsroom, as well as its agency Twitter and Facebook pages.