21st annual ceremony held on West Steps of Capitol
Nearly 70 California Department of Corrections (CDC) employees from throughout the state gathered on May 20, 2005, on the West Steps of the State Capitol to accept the department’s highest honors at the 21st annual Medal of Valor Awards ceremony.
(Editor’s note: This Medal of Valor story was originally published in CDC Staff News, July 2005.)
“We are here to pay tribute to some of the finest law enforcement individuals in California,” said Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman, a former Silver Star recipient. Hickman recognized the efforts of these outstanding individuals, whose heroism saved lives, contributed to public safety, and whose efforts marked increased cooperation between the state and communities.
Five CDC employees were presented with the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor which is given to employees “who have distinguished themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee must display courage in the face of immediate, life-threatening peril, and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.”
The 2005 Medal of Valor recipients:
- Connie England, Correctional Officer, California Men’s Colony
- Wolfgang Costello, Medical Technical Assistant, California State Prison-Los Angeles County
- Travis W. Bucholz, Correctional Officer, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
- Tyrone Mays, Correctional Officer, Salinas Valley State Prison
- James Johnstone, Correctional Officer, Wasco State Prison.
“These men and women are committed to public safety and public service,” said CDC Director Jeanne S. Woodford. “They represent the best the in the business, and they represent the thousands of men and women who work at CDC and put themselves at risk every day.”
Here is the complete list of 2005 honorees:
Gold Star recipients
The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the Department’s second highest award for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.
Olivia Best, Correctional Sergeant, California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
Richard O. Hawkins, Correctional Counselor, Folsom State Prison
Aaron J. Bicknell, Correctional Officer, North Kern State Prison
Richard Culpepper, Parole Agent, Parole Region IV
Silver Star recipients
The Corrections Star (Silver) is the Department’s third-highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish him or herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics of judgment.
- Correctional Officers Edward Granillo, Jack Hudson, Jeniel Yoder and Greg Zucker, California Correctional Institution
- E.R. Cisco, Correctional Officer, California Men’s Colony
- James Michael Austin, Correctional Officer, California State Prison, Solano
- Dwight Storay, Parole Agent, Parole Region IV
- Esther Lydia Avalos, Correctional Lieutenant, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility
- Donald Connant, Correctional Sergeant, Sierra Conservation Center
Bronze Star recipients
The Corrections Star (Bronze) medal is the Department’s award for saving a life without putting oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.
- Elizabeth Franco, Medical Technical Assistant, Avenal State Prison
- Correctional Officers John Berlanga and Craig O. Terry, California Correctional Institution
- Richard Pimental, Correctional Lieutenant; Daniel Ross, Correctional Sergeant; California Medical Facility
- Edward Anaya, Fire Captain, California Rehabilitation Center
- Stacy Journagan, Psychiatric Technician, California State Prison, Corcoran
- Mike Hogan, Correctional Officer, California State Prison, Solano
- Rufino Orong, Medical Technical Assistant, Central California Women’s Facility
- Mike Crispin, Correctional Sergeant; Matt Shields, Correctional Officer; Plumber II Samuel Tozer; Ironwood State Prison
- Parole Agent Miguel Gonzalez, Parole Region III; and Correctional Officer Robert Saylor, Pelican Bay State Prison.
Distinguished Service recipients
The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of benefit to the Department.
- Frank Foley, Correctional Officer, California Correctional Center
- Registered Dental Assistant Anastasia Domingue, California Medical Facility
- Parole Agent Dean Crenshaw, Parole Region III; and Correctional Officer Matthew B. Seese, Pleasant Valley State Prison.
Unit Citation recipients
The Unit Citation is for great courage displayed by a Departmental unit in the course of conducting an operation in the face of immediate life-threatening circumstances.
- Correctional Officers John Berlanga, Denise Liles and Craig O. Terry; Medical Technical Assistant Steve Broaddus, California Correctional Institution
- Raymond Perez, Correctional Lieutenant; Glen R. Traylor, Correctional Sergeant; Correctional Officers Ernest O. Avila, Joe G. Barbosa, John A. Bobadilla, Adrian Diaz, Mark Easton, Joe Ortega, Anthony Ramirez, John D. Sitter, Arthur W. Tovar and Phillip A. Vasquez, California Rehabilitation Center
- Correctional Sergeants Michael Dotson and Eric Lawton; Correctional Officers Diane McGill and John Reyes, California State Prison, Corcoran
- Correctional Officer Charles King Jr., Kelly L. Jakobsen, Darrin Neidlinger, Mark D. Nielson and Gary Whitted, California State Prison, Sacramento;
- Medical Technical Assistants Kristy Green and Joe Rudisill, Ironwood State Prison
- Prison Canteen Manager II Gary Smith, Prison Canteen Manager I Robert Robinson, Business Services Officer II Michael Salazar, Material & Store Supervisor II Grover Crane, Sierra Conservation Center.
By Margot Bach, Information Officer II, Communications Office
See more awards and appreciation stories.