Fallen Officers Memorial Dedication and Open House set for May 7, 2017

MCO leaders and staff are proud to announce the Fallen Officers Memorial will be unveiled Sunday, May 7, 2017, on the first day of Correctional Officers Week.

“MCO will set the tone for Correctional Officers Week by dedicating this beautiful memorial honoring those officers, and their families, who made the ultimate sacrifice in public service to keep others safe,” said Andy Potter, MCO Vice President/Chief of Staff. “Through this memorial, we are sending a powerful message to the fallen officers’ families and to all officers: your union understands and appreciates the dangerous nature of your job. We won’t forget about you and we won’t stop fighting for you.”

The success of the memorial ceremony relies on the dedication and commitment of MCO leaders, staff, and numerous volunteers.

We are looking for members and retirees to volunteer May 7 to assist with the ceremony, reception, etc.

If you are interested in volunteering,
please e-mail Tangee Laza at tangee@mco-seiu.org or Karen Mazzolini at karen@mco-seiu.org

The dedication ceremony will be May 7, 2017 at Michigan Corrections Organization, 421 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI. A reception and open house will follow. Times will be announced at a later date.

All MCO members and retirees are invited. The families of fallen Michigan corrections officers, MDOC administrators, legislators, and state union leaders will also be invited.

A memorial had been discussed several times over the years but never came to fruition. Then, in 2015, a few corrections officers and retir­ees approached the MCO Executive Board with a detailed plan for a memorial. The Board approved a committee to research a memorial and turn this long-standing dream into a reality.

After the dedication of the memorial, MCO will host a reception. The reception will also serve as an open house, where members can get acquainted with the new MCO. Over the past two years, union leaders and staff have taken on dynamic initiatives to engage all members. We are reaching out to a new generation of corrections officers, while still holding on to the values of our long-serving members and the camaraderie that makes MCO so unique.

We have launched many new programs, including a state-wide member listening tour; a military members’ committee; PTSD research and awareness; and the Officer Dignity Initiative, to ensure members are treated with respect in dress outs and inmate sexual exposures. We came together to deliver water to members in Flint, and raised officers’ collective voice after the Kinross riot.

Also, the central office staff has been realigned to carry out this new work and engage members in new ways. Grievance handling used to be the bulk of the work at the MCO central office. Grievances, while an important and necessary part of unions, are only filed by a small percentage of members. Many members who haven’t filed a grievance have had little interaction with MCO. We are trying to change that. All members should feel a connection with their union and be proud to belong.

We hope you’ll join us Sunday, May 7, 2017. Watch for more details in the coming months.

Stay safe.

Honoring our Fallen Officers:

George Haight
End of Watch:
March 27, 1893

Earl DeMarse
End of Watch:
Sept. 25, 1973

Josephine McCallum
End of Watch:
March 24, 1987

Jack Budd
End of Watch:
Dec. 27, 1987

Read more about Fallen Officers.

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