Correctional Officer Stabbed In Face; Employees Picket For Safety
KIROTV.COM - Correctional employees from across the state are picketing today for on-the-job safety changes a after a correctional officer was stabbed in the face by an inmate in Walla Walla on Tuesday night.
Teamsters Local 117's Tracy Thompson told KIRO 7 that the officer was working in the Adams Unit at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla at about 7 p.m. on Tuesday when another correctional officer heard a call of the assault over the radio.
Thompson said the officer was found bleeding from stab wounds to the face as two inmates fought nearby. The injured officer, who was stabbed with a ballpoint pen, was taken to a nearby hospital.
He also suffered a dislocated shoulder.Correctional employees began picketing Wednesday at 10 different locations, calling it a "fight for safety."
"We don't want to go ahead and see any more deaths, not by the hands of any inmate whatsoever," corrections Officer Susan Warner said at a picket line in Monroe. About a dozen corrections officers were in Monroe before dawn on Wednesday, and were calling on the Department of Corrections to add staffing, better monitoring of prisons and prisoners, and body alarms for officers.
Teamsters Local 117 said Jayme Biendl, who was strangled inside the Monroe prison chapel in January, complained numerous times about safety issues inside the prison. Corrections Sgt.
Brad Waddell said a different type of alarm on Biendl would have given her a chance of surviving the attack. "I would say she would have had a better chance to survive if she had a body alarm activation that would have went off when she went down or was easier to hit," said Waddell.
Officers want a body alarm "that you hit on your chest, and then it's activated, or if you go to the ground it's activated. We don't have that. We've got a button on the side of the radio that you can hardly get to if you're in a fight."
Correctional employees are demanding the Department of Corrections and the Washington State Legislature take immediate steps to improve staff safety.
On Wednesday morning outside the Monroe Correctional Center, some of the picket signs read "Scott must go," referring to Scott Frakes, the prison's superintendent."
He needs to listen to the staff when the staff, with 15 to 20 years (experience), is telling him things that we really need. We don't need to put a dollar tag on it; we need to get the critical things that we need," said Waddell.
Officers picketing in Monroe said they were aware of the state's budget issues, but that they want more money spent on safety necessities for officers and less spent on luxuries for prisoners.
"(We're not) against them, but we feel like they're against us," Warner said. "I guess we're not the right price tag for them. We're not worth going ahead and giving us what we need. It's not what we want; (it's what) we need."
KIRO 7 called the corrections department to ask them to comment on the picketers' demands, but the department hasn't called back yet.
Waddell said he expects 400 to 500 people to take part in the informational picket in Monroe.
The picketing across the state will last until 6 p.m.
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
Navy issues updated statement on 'irresponsible and immature act' after obscene images drawn in skies over Okanogan Co.
OMAK, Wash. - I can picture the Austin Powers bit now. The people of Omak looking up at the sky and seeing a giant (Fill in the blank innuendo here) just like in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. If you're unfamiliar, I'll save you a Google search. A simple, yet effectively funny joke. Except the U.S. Navy doesn't see humor in the real-life version at all.>>
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives have made a third arrest in the homicide investigation of Bret Snow. 37-year-old Cheryl L. Sutton was arrested on charges of Leading Organized Crime and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping in connection to Snow's disappearance.>>
DENVER - Two doctors from Colorado claim that their patient, a baby boy, died of an overdose on marijuana. The case in question happened in 2015 the second year of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado. An 11-month-old boy came into the ER after a seizure, barely conscious.>>
KHQ.COM - Cards Against Humanity is known for unique stunts around this time of year. In years past, in an effort to combat Black Friday, they've had people send them $5 and literally sent nothing in return. Just like they said they would. They've also mailed people poop in a box. 30,000 bought it. They've even raised $100,000 to dig a giant hole in the ground.>>
WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say they have made an arrest in the slaying of a New Jersey woman who was beaten to death while house-sitting. Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton says additional details will be announced at a news conference Friday afternoon. Twenty-six-year-old Shawneeq Carter was found dead inside the Woodbury home of an acquaintance on Sept. 23.>>
- The Senate Finance Committee approved the $1.5 trillion Republican tax overhaul proposal Thursday night, just hours after the House of Representatives passed the bill. The bill repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, cuts taxes for corporations and individuals, and decreases the number of tax brackets. “We can grow our economy and create thousands of jobs with the #TaxCutsandJobsAct,” Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers wrote on Twitter. “This...>>