1997: HMTU CO is Officer of the Year
Terrence Lee Collins, an officer at the Handlon Michigan Training Unit (HMTU), has been chosen 1997 state "Corrections Officer of the Year". His selection was announced by Director Kenneth L. McGinnis last week, who urged Michigan citizens to recognize the difficult and sometimes dangerous work of corrections officers.
One of five finalists, Collins' selection as winner was made by a committee of the Michigan Correctional Officers' Training Council.
Officials at the prison in Ionia say Collins is known for his unique ability to gain the respect and confidence of younger offenders who are difficult to manage. He has assisted in preventing suicides on two occasions and in the evacuation of prisoners from a housing unit during a fire inside the prison.
Officials say Collins is a role model for other officers because of his people skills and his knowledge of Department policy and procedures. Hs conducts substance abuse education courses at the prison for inmates and mentors new employees who are learning their jobs. Continually looking for ways to improve the safety and security of the prison, Collins has been instrumental in converting a living unit at the prison into housing for difficult-to-manage prisoners.
An employee of the Department of Corrections and HMTU since 1993, Collins is married and has four sons. He is active in his local church and works with the church in helping to feed, cloth and shelter need families.
The finalists were: Michelle A. Donley, a RUO at the Carson City Temporary Facility; Owen Lee Hilgendorf, an officer at Carson City Correctional Facility; Dennis L. Somers, an investigator wit the Absconder Recovery Unit in Saginaw; and Leslie Trynette Kitchen, a RUO a the Brooks Correctional Facility.
The "Officer of the Year" title is awarded to a state corrections officer who has been involved in innovations or creative efforts on the job, who has outstanding personal characteristics, who has made professional contributions to the field and who has been involved in community activities.
The winner of the annual award and all those nominated from across the state will be honored May 8, at a banquet in the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
National Corrections Officer Week will be celebrated during the week of May 4 through May 10.