Each year the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF) holds the Project 2000 event, a national ceremony to recognize men and women in the Corrections profession who lost their lives in the line of duty in the preceding 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), and San Quentin (SQ) were in attendance.
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 shared. Among the honorees this year was HDSP Correctional Officer Richard Bianchi, who was killed in a vehicle crash on his way to provide security coverage at a hospital. Officer 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 MCSP Employee Association, organized a fundraiser in June to raise money for the flights of the five members to attend the CPOF Project. In addition to the MCSP Employee Association fundraiser, the Honor Guard is grateful to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and California Correctional Supervisors Organization, who donated funds to assist the team with flight cost and travel expenses.
Allison spoke at the Memorial Luncheon, discussing CPOF’s Catastrophic Assistance Program. In 2020, CPOF assisted 169 California correctional families for a total of $154,000 through the program for correctional staff members, their spouses or dependent children who are suffering from a severe financial hardship due to a catastrophic illness, injury, or event.
Learn more about CPOF and the programs they offer here.
Read more stories about CDCR’s community involvement.