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Sergeant Donald Genwright places a hat on the Missing Officer's Table during the conclusion of the Fallen Officers' Memorial Service in Huntsville (Photo by Jene Andersen)
On May 10 the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) held the 14th Annual Fallen Officers' Memorial Service at the HEARTS Veterans' Museum in Huntsville to honor those individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty. This service and similar events held throughout the state served as reminders to reflect and honor the sacrifice of our fallen colleagues.
Keynote speaker and Texas Board of Criminal Justice Member Terrell McCombs acknowledged the service of Texas' criminal justice professionals, saying, "The thousands of men and women in Texas who wear the grey uniform, and the thousands more who serve in other critical positions within this agency, to include probation and parole, put themselves in harm's way every day they come to work. We owe so much to these dedicated professionals."
TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston, who was unable to attend the memorial service in Huntsville due to the demands of the legislative session in Austin, offered this tribute to all the dedicated public servants who have died while serving as employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
“It is with great sorrow but also with great pride that we once again pause to recognize our fellow co-workers who died in the line of duty. I know all TDCJ employees join with me in mourning their loss, extending deepest sympathies to their families and friends, and expressing great pride in having served with such dedicated men and women. All Texans owe them a debt of gratitude for their public service and sacrifice.”
Phillip G. Hill
Human Resources Specialist II
Human Resources Headquarters
End of Watch: March 2, 2012
Lorraine M. Quinn
Substance Abuse Counselor III
End of Watch: May 10, 2012
Jason A. Prosser
Agriculture Specialist III
End of Watch: October 19, 2012
Captain Timothy Fitzpatrick of the Polunsky Unit and Assistant Director Jennifer Robinson of the Huntsville Placement and Release Unit would like to grow their careers at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to help their employees as well as the offenders under their supervision.
With their passion and commitment to the state agency, the pair was recently awarded scholarships from the College of Criminal Justice and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas to attend the Master of Criminal Justice Leadership and Management Program at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). The weekend program is designed specifically for working professionals who want to advance in their careers.
Fitzpatrick began his career in criminal justice at the Jim Ferguson Unit in Midway and has served in the Goree and Byrd units in Huntsville. In October, he joined the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, where he supervises, instructs, trains and ensures the safety of assigned employees and offenders.
"Our mission is to protect the public, 100 percent," said Fitzpatrick. "This is an inherently negative environment, but my goal is to keep the staff positive and morale high. Taking care of my staff is a priority. If they need something, I am there for them."
Fitzpatrick works in one of the largest facilities in Region I, which has the added distinction of housing Death Row offenders and segregation units. On any given day, there are about 2,950 offenders on the unit. He wants to continue his career at TDCJ and hoped to join the Master's Program, but didn't have the funds to do so. With the scholarship, he can now return to SHSU to get the degree, which will assist him in his future endeavors.
Robinson started her career with TDCJ as a field parole officer in Conroe, where she served for more than seven years before promoting to a unit supervisor position in Huntsville where she served for another five years. As a parole officer, she assisted in the New Technology New Development Program with Information Technology (IT), which she is still pursuing in her current position of assistant director of the Placement and Release Unit.
“I am constantly looking for ways to modernize and streamline how things get done,” said Robinson. “We always have projects with IT to try and make everything better. I love the Parole Division and I loved being a parole officer. I enjoyed trying to make a difference in the offender’s lives, whether it was assisting them with problems or concerns or addressing public safety issues when they were on the wrong path. While I miss the interactions with offenders, I enjoy this job because you can have a wider range of influence with the agency each time you promote.”
On a daily basis, Robinson supervises a staff of 41 who are in charge of the daily release of offenders through the Huntsville “Walls” Unit, the placement of offenders in halfway houses, and the referral of parolees to substance abuse treatment programs. Her unit includes parole officers, program supervisors and clerical and administrative staff.
“On any given day in Texas, there are at least 1,700 offenders in halfway houses,” Robinson said. “From Monday to Friday, on average anywhere from 50 to 100 offenders are released daily from The Walls. There is a huge amount of things needed to process these people prior to the actual release, such as when they will be released, what their parole stipulations for release will be, and where they will go.”
Robinson also is involved in the annual review of parole policies and procedures and she is able to make recommendations on a wide range of those policies based on her years in the field.
Robinson already has two bachelor degrees from SHSU in Psychology and in Criminal Justice, and wanted to pursue her master's degree to continue to promote within TDCJ. She also has a lifelong love of learning.
“I love school and I have always loved school,” Robinson said. “I always wanted to get my master’s degree and this program is designed for people with full time jobs so they can go on the weekends. The fact that I received the scholarship and the hours are on the weekend allows me to finally go for my master's.”
|Norvel Arnold||Senior Warden, Jim Rudd Transfer Facility||Senior Warden, Dalhart Unit|
|Tracy Bailey||Senior Warden, Security Operations||Senior Warden, W.J. "Jim" Estelle Unit|
|Edgar Baker||Senior Warden, William R. Boyd Unit||Senior Warden, Skyview Unit/Jerry H. Hodge Unit|
|Don Bosco||Senior Warden, Tulia Transfer Facility||Senior Warden, Hospital Galveston/Carole S. Young Medical Facility|
|Jeffery Catoe||Assistant Warden, H.H. Coffield Unit||Senior Warden, Tulia Transfer Facility|
|Patrick Cooper||Major of Correctional Officers, Skyview Unit||Assistant Warden, H.H. Coffield Unit|
|Kelli Forrester||Assistant Warden, Mountain View Unit||Senior Warden, Ellen Halbert SAFPF|
|Whitney Franks||Major of Correctional Officers, Christina Melton Crain Unit||Assistant Warden, Mountain View Unit|
|Keith Gorsuch||Major of Correctional Officers, Mark W. Stiles Unit||Assistant Warden, O.B. Ellis Unit|
|Richard Gunnels||Assistant Warden, O.B. Ellis Unit||Senior Warden, Glen Ray Goodman Unit|
|Tommie Haynes||Senior Warden, Skyview Unit/Jerry H. Hodge Unit||Senior Warden, Gib Lewis Unit|
|Gary Hunter||Senior Warden, Gib Lewis Unit||Senior Warden, Allan B. Polunsky Unit|
|Gene Kroll||Assistant Warden
Mark W. Stiles Unit
Jim Rudd Transfer Facility
|Barry Martin||Senior Warden
William P. Clements Unit
|Virgil McMullen||Major of
Allan B. Polunsky Unit
Mark W. Stiles Unit
|Tony O'Hare||Glen Ray Goodman
|Paul Sloan||Senior Warden
T.L. Roach Unit
Daniel Webster Wallace Unit/
Dick Ware Transfer Facility
|Cynthia Tilley||Senior Warden
Ellen Halbert SAFPF
William R. Boyd Unit
|Terry Tucker||Senior Warden
Hospital Galveston/Carole S. Young Medical Facility
T.L. Roach Unit
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