Corrections and probation officers from around B.C. - including several locals - were honoured at a recent exemplary service medals award ceremony.
This year, 33 exceptional B.C. corrections employees from the Ministry of Justice - nine from Maple Ridge - received awards from Judith Guichon, lieutenant-governor of B.C. during a medal presentation ceremony at Government House recently.
The annual awards are presented to honour corrections staff members who have reached milestones of 20 and 30 years of service.
One person was awarded the Corrections Exemplary Service Bar for 30 years: Kenneth W. Fox, who works at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre.
Eight corrections staff were awarded the 20-year service medal: four who work at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women (ACCW) and four who work at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre (FRCC).
"It is an honour to see such commitment to creating a safe environment in our facilities and working with offenders in the community," said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond.
Honoured for reaching the 20-year bar were Allan Gillespie, Eileen Johnston, Randall Nelson, and Dawn Kelly, all who work at ACCW.
As well, Denean Jones, Gerald James Lapointe, Nedeljko Macesic, and Michael Albert Page, all who work at FRCC.
Debbie Hawboldt, who works at Victoria's adult custody division headquarters, was recognized for 30 years of service. Hawboldt was the director of the Alouette prison prior to being retooled as a women's facility.
"It is important to acknowledge that corrections staff play a vital role in keeping our families and communities safe every day, and they deserve our gratitude and recognition," Bond said.
The awards are the most prestigious national decoration for corrections professionals in Canada. The medals recognize exceptionally commendable service and are not used only to recognize lengthy terms of service.