2004 Corrections Officer of the Year Pablo Olvera
Pablo Olvera, Saginaw Correctional Facility, has been selected by the State Standards Committee of the Michigan Correctional Officers' Training Council as the 2004 Corrections Officer of the Year.
C/O Olvera, of Midland, was one of five finalists chosen for the honor from candidates nominated from each institution including SAI and from each region of the Field Operations Administration. The other four finalists included: Diana Stimpson, Southern Michigan Correctional Facility; Kirsten Scheidler, Camp Branch; Grant Sage, Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility and Steven Larsen, Mid-Michigan Correctional Facility.
Candidates are judged on the basis of their work ethic, MDOC policy compliance, communications skills and professionalism. Each must provide a positive role model and sound judgment in emergency situations.
The finalists are selected by a committee of former officers of the year, an MCO representative, a custody supervisor and a training representative. Following are some excerpts from the five finalists' application forms.
Officer of the Year Olvera is a member of the Emergency Response Team. He has been credited with intervening in an altercation between two prisoners. One prisoner brandished a shank and made a move to stab the second prisoner. C/O Olvera blocked the move, taking the shank into his own shoulder.
Fortunately, the buckle from his overalls deflected the weapon from his neck. In a second incident, C/O Olvera was instrumental in reporting the hijacking of a sheriff's van parked in front of the Administration Building at Mound Correctional Facility. C/O Olvera is also well-known for his creative efforts in the work place.
He was responsible for the organization of fund raisers for the families of two Corrections Officers who met with untimely deaths this year working to ensure that families of these officers were well cared for. An officer for eight years, C/O Olvera shows a great concern for his fellow employees and is vigilant to ensure that everyone's safety is enhanced.
Steven Larsen, of Edmore, is a Resident Unit Officer at Mid-Michigan Correctional Facility. RUO Larsen is a primary weapons instructor and an instructor for PA-415 training. An outstanding officer, he received a commendation for coming to the aid of a prisoner being stabbed. RUO Larsen has been commended for his communication skills which allow him to maintain calm and control in the unit even in the most difficult situations.
Finalists from left: RUO Grant Sage, RUO Steven Larsen, C/O Diana Stimpson, RUO Kirsten Scheidler, and RUO Pablo Olvera
Resident Unit Officer Grant Sage has been with the Department for 14 years. He assisted in the opening of the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility where he took an active role in training his coworkers on use of the new computer-driven technology. Officer Sage is known for his keen instincts and, according to supervisors, is not afraid to act on his suspicions. His actions resulted in the exposure of many weapons and have headed off other potentially critical incidents. Officer Sage has served as an Ionia Complex ERT member, is actively involved in the Michigan Corrections Organization and was a facilitator and trainer of the Strategies for Thinking Productively (STP) program. RUO Sage is active in his community and currently coaches the seventh grade football team at Belding Junior High School.
Kirsten Scheidler, Resident Unit Officer at Camp Branch has been with the department for four and one half years. RUO Scheidler is an important team member in the Parole Violator Diversion Program (PVDP). She provides direct supervision and management of PVDP prisoners within the specific guidelines and principles of the program while simultaneously coordinating her correctional duties with the general population prisoners housed in the same unit. Her follow up of more than 150 graduates of the PVDP program noted the most helpful aspects of the program, challenges in the program and then suggested improvements for PVDP. RUO Scheidler has been credited with helping to make the PVDP an effective cost-savings program as it returns its graduates to their communities with the tools and skills to successfully complete their paroles and be productive and involved members of their communities.
Corrections Officer Diana Stimpson, Southern Michigan Correctional Facility, is a 19-year veteran with MDOC. According to supervisors, C/O Stimpson has consistently conducted herself in a conscientious and professional manner. C/O Stimpson developed a children's reading center in the facility visiting room. She also received the department's Citizenship Award for stopping to provide first responder aid to victims and another officer involved in a fatal car accident. She provides P.A. 415 training and assists in training staff and new employees. Additionally, she assists in the provision of training in over familiarization and conducting person searches. Currently C/O Stimpson is assisting in the development of a training program for staff assigned to the dialysis unit which is presently under construction. She has undertaken the job to communicate with female staff to help them deal with the unique problems of women working in a male institutions both in her capacity as a trainer and individually. C/O Stimpson has been lauded as a positive role model for women in corrections.
"These five officers deserve recognition for their extraordinary dedication and professionalism, and I would like to personally thank each of you for your outstanding efforts," said Director Patricia L. Caruso. "Congratulations Officer Olvera, your commitment and courage are an inspiration to us all."
Michigan Department of Corrections FYI 02-05-04