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Elected leaders honor Oklahoma Department of Corrections staff

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Above: Oklahoma Sen. Wayne Shaw speaks on the floor of the State Senate on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, as part of Oklahoma Department of Corrections staff appreciation day at the Capitol in Oklahoma City. Sen. Shaw authored the resolution which honored ODOC's employee award recipients from last fall, men and women who have saved lives, protect the public and dutifully serve their state.

OKLAHOMA CITY—Members of the Oklahoma Senate honored the courage and sacrifice of Oklahoma Department of Corrections employees on Thursday, acknowledging their service to the State of Oklahoma. 

Lawmakers applauded ODOC staff, who were honored at the agency’s annual awards banquet in November. Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove, and Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, sponsored the resolutions, which were read in the Senate chamber. 

“No one has a more challenging or important job protecting the public and preparing inmates for life outside prison than the men and women honored here today,” ODOC Director Scott Crow said. “Their effort and dedication play a huge part as we work to make Oklahoma a Top-Ten state for corrections. I thank Senator Shaw and Representative Humphrey for sponsoring the resolutions that honored our people today - and for his support of ODOC and public safety agencies.”

Thursday’s honorees included Correctional Officer of the Year, Sgt. Christopher Chapa. Chapa, with the help of a facility nurse and others, used his First Aid and CPR training to revive a North Fork Correctional Center inmate injured in a violent assault.

The inmate had been stabbed through the heart, was not breathing and had no pulse, but he survived his near-fatal injuries due to Sgt. Chapa’s and his teammates’ heroism.

Other honorees from Thursday included 2019’s Employee of the Year, Barbie Rounsaville, who manages ODOC’s Mental Health Unit at Joseph Harp Correctional Center. The unit houses dozens of the most seriously mentally ill inmates in the state prison system.

Other ODOC Employee of the Year recipients were:

Officer Michael Harold – Probation and Parole Officer of the Year

Trish Baker, Correctional Teacher, Eddie Warrior Correctional Center – Teacher of the Year

Charity Rosenthal, R.N., Howard McLeod Correctional Center – Nurse of the Year

Officer Alexandra Miller – Probation and Parole Supervisor of the Year

Lt. Brad Morris, Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center – Correctional Officer Supervisor of the Year

ODOC honorees were also greeted by House Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) and Representative Justin Humphrey (R-Lane).

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