- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Nearly 200 people were on hand in Lansing for the unveiling of a memorial to four Michigan corrections officers who were killed by inmates over the years.

The Fallen Officers Memorial was unveiled outside the Michigan Corrections Organization headquarters on Sunday for the start of National Corrections Officers Week. The black stone marker bears the officers’ names and the images of a prison tower, handcuffs with prison keys and the Correctional Officer’s Prayer, the Lansing State Journal reported (https://on.lsj.com/2qhAAU1 ).

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, George Haight was poisoned with cyanide in 1893; Earl DeMarse was stabbed to death in 1973; Josephine McCallum was raped and strangled in 1987; and Jack Budd was stabbed to death in 1987.

The memorial is the first centrally-located public memorial where people can acknowledge officers who have died in the line of duty.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said William MCallum, husband of Josephine McCallum. “But it seems like there’s a different group of people in now (who) are really starting to recognize the corrections people and the dangers they go through. I mean, they’re unarmed, standing in a group of 600 people. I don’t know if I’d want to be there.”

Michigan Corrections Director Heidi Washington said the memorial honors those who have been killed but also celebrates those who still do that work.

“I think it is also important that we continue to highlight the stress we all face in the job and to recognize it and to offer solutions and support for the men and women who work inside of our institutions,” she said.

According to data from the state corrections department, employees were assaulted by inmates 118 times last year.

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com


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