COAD Members Recognized by Delaware DOC

On May 9th, 2023 numerous COAD members correctional staff were recognized at the Delaware Department of Corrections Annual Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony. We would like to congratulate each one of them for their hard work and dedication.

Sergeant Timothy McCrary and Correctional Officer Jeffery Hansen for being selected to receive the Commissioner’s Award for Heroism. Last August, Sgt. McCrary and Officer Hansen were assigned as partners in a maximum-security area of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center that houses our state’s highest risk inmate population. While conducting a routine check of an inmate common area, an offender standing nearby suddenly turned toward Officer Hansen and launched an unprovoked attack utilizing a concealed improvised weapon. Officer Hansen was struck in the head more than a half dozen times. Sgt. McCrary immediately rushed to the aid of his injured partner, drawing the attacking inmate away. The inmate turned and struck out at Sgt. McCrary, hitting and punching him in the head and torso. Meanwhile, the injured Officer Hansen regained composure and came to the aid of Sgt. McCrary. Working together, Sgt. McCrary and Officer Hansen drew on their correctional training to secure the inmate even as he actively resisted. After being relieved by other responding Officers, Sgt. McCrary and Officer Hansen were transported via ambulance to an area hospital where Officer Hansen required in-patient care. Sergeant McCrary and Officer Hansen worked effectively in the face of sudden, unprovoked, life-threating violence to accomplish their public safety mission. Both Officers individually demonstrated heroic bravery, self-sacrifice and extraordinary presence of mind while enduring physical attack to come to the aid of his fellow Officer and end the threat without further escalation or injury. In a correctional environment that is built around predictability and routine their swiftness of actions speaks not only to their character and commitment to DOC’s core values but also illustrates their professionalism, skill, and ability to perform at the highest level. In addition to receiving the DOC Commissioner’s Award for Heroism, Sgt. McCrary and Officer Hansen also this week received the Delaware Award for Heroism from Governor John Carney and recently were awarded with the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS) Medal of Valor.

Sergeants Randy Twilley and Corey Keen, Corporal Frank Clendening, and former DOC Corporal Hunter Simpson (now with the Milford Police Department) for being selected as the DOC Team of the Year! Last March while on duty at Sussex Correctional Institution these Officers responded to an emergency medical alert, finding an inmate unconscious and without a pulse. While awaiting the arrival of paramedics, these Officers assisted facility medical staff by taking over CPR chest compressions. Without hesitation the four Officers rotated through sets of CPR until EMS arrived on scene. Thanks to the quick and selfless actions of these Officers the inmate’s life was saved that day.

Staff Sergeant Christa Russell from the Community Corrections Treatment Center (CCTC) for being named Correctional Officer of the Year! Since CCTC opened its doors in December, 2020 SSgt Russell has played an integral role in the daily operations of the facility, ensuring compliance with policies and procedures by staff and enforcing rules and regulations with offenders. She maintains an exceptional relationship with the Road2Recovery (R2R) Substance Abuse Treatment Program staff, sustaining a collaborative working relationship between security staff and treatment providers. SSgt Russell has embraced additional responsibilities, including Community Service Project Supervisor, overseeing four Officers who manage offenders on community work assignments. Through this role she has fostered positive relationships with community organizations and the public in New Castle and Kent Counties. In addition, SSgt Russell is working to establish a full-service recycling program at CCTC. SSgt Russell has been a member of Kent County Community Corrections for more than 20 years and time and time again has demonstrated her commitment to her fellow staff and the DOC mission of public safety and offender rehabilitation.