FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 21, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Officers from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department were recently honored at the Massachusetts State House during the 17th Annual Correction Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony.
Presided over by Secretary of Public Safety and Security Andrea Cabral, the ceremony was created to recognize and celebrate the notable and often heroic actions taken by those working in the field of corrections.
Each year, the state’s 14 sheriffs and the Massachusetts Commissioner of Correction nominate exemplary employees for these prestigious awards. A selection committee comprised of leaders from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, the Massachusetts Correction Officer Federated Union and designees from the Massachusetts House and Senate determine which employees will be honored.
This year, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department received the honor of having two officers selected for events in which they performed above and beyond the call of duty.
Presented with a Medal of Valor, Nashua Street Jail Officer Christopher Ellis was recognized for his actions taken at Boston Medical Center after a detainee managed to pull free from hospital restraints before launching an attack on Officer Ellis. Fending off his attacker before regaining control of the detainee, Officer Ellis was able subdue him and secure him back into his restraints, thereby averting potential harm to himself, the detainee and others.
Receiving a Meritorious Recognition Award, House of Correction Officer Peter Mello was cited for the life–saving efforts he gave to an off–duty Holbrook Police Officer who had collapsed while exercising at a Planet Fitness gym in Stoughton. Working out at the gym a short distance away, Officer Mello witnessed the situation and called for a defibrillator before administering CPR to the fallen man, then employing the machine, thus preventing a likely fatality.
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department was also given a commendation from Secretary Cabral – along with the Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Departments – for their roles in responding in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with mutual aid.
Thanking Secretary Cabral for the honors, Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins spoke emphatically about those individuals who commit themselves to the oftentimes unheralded work of corrections.
“I thank Secretary Cabral for helping to shed light on some of the great work that our corrections professionals have done,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “The people being recognized today are indeed worthy of such attention, but there are many others who do the job every day, quietly and without fanfare. So, while there are only a small fraction of the 470,000–plus corrections professionals officially receiving awards today, the honor belongs to all of us.”