Each year the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) holds the Project 2000 event, a national ceremony recognizing corrections staff who lost their lives in the line of duty the previous year.
This year, the event was hosted in June in Columbus, Ohio, at the National Veterans Museum. CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison was in attendance, along with members of the CDCR Honor Guards from:
- Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP)
- California Rehabilitation Center (CRC)
- Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP)
- San Quentin (SQ).
The ceremony honors and supports families of individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty. CPOF began hosting the annual four-day gathering for Correctional Officers and families in 1990. Surviving family members are invited as honored guests, and Honor Guards from correctional departments across the nation participate in the ceremony.
“I was delighted to see how much attention was paid to the children of our fallen officers, not only at the welcoming event but throughout the entire four days,” Secretary Allison said.
Among those honored were HDSP Correctional Officer Richard Bianchi, who was killed in a crash on his way to provide security coverage at a hospital. Bianchi’s widow Pamela, son Richard Bianchi III, brother Alan, daughter Rachel, son-in-law Thomas and grandson were in attendance. Officer Bianchi’s mother, Carolyn, who is retired from CDCR, was unable to attend.
The MCSP Honor Guard, with the assistance of the Employee Association, organized a fundraiser in June to raise money for the flights of the five members to attend the CPOF Project.
The Honor Guard was helped with flight costs and travel expenses by the:
- California Correctional Peace Officers Association
- California Correctional Supervisors Organization.
Allison spoke at the Memorial Luncheon, discussing CPOF’s Catastrophic Assistance Program.
In 2020, CPOF assisted 169 California correctional families. In total, $154,000 went to correctional staff members, their spouses or dependent children who are suffering from a severe financial hardship due to a catastrophic illness, injury, or event.
Read more stories about CDCR’s community involvement.