Thursday, May 25, 2017

State of California Honors 22 with Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor Award

Award is the highest honor state bestows on its public servants
SACRAMENTO, CA – The State of California today honored 22 state employees with the Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor Award (Medal of Valor Award) for acts of heroism, during a ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento. The Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor the state can give its employees.

Medals were presented to the 22 recipients, from seven state departments, on behalf of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. by Keely Bosler, the Governor's Cabinet Secretary. Other state officials participating in the ceremony include Richard Gillihan, Director, California Department of Human Resources (CalHR); Joseph A. Farrow, Commissioner, California Highway Patrol (CHP); John Laird, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency; Brian P. Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency; Ralph Diaz, Undersecretary for Operations, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR);  Major Jonathan Shiroma, Deputy Director of State Personnel, California Military Department (Military).

"Today's recipients exemplify what it means to be a public servant, acting without regard for their own safety in order to help their fellow citizens," said Gillihan. "They make California a better place and the state is fortunate to have them."

The award comes in two distinctions, the Special Service Award (Silver) for an act of heroism by a state employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or state property, and the Special Act Award (Gold) for an extraordinary act of heroism by a state employee extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service, performed at great risk to his or her own life in an effort to save human life.

Actions taken by this year's recipients include fending off and subduing an armed assailant, rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle, saving three individuals from drowning, and pulling a suicidal woman from a freeway overpass.

Recipients of today's awards, the level of their award, and their employing department are as follows:
  • Jaymi Appleberry, Gold, CDCR
  • Mike Johnson, Gold, CDCR
  • Steve Gallegos, Gold, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (Cal Fire)
  • Steven Van Heertum, Gold, Cal Fire
  • Michael Dilts, Silver, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
  • Chad Edwards, Silver, CDFW
  • James Anderson, Silver, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
  • Kenneth Myers, Silver, Caltrans
  • Rodney Walker, Silver, Caltrans
  • Dean Rouse, Silver, Caltrans
  • Kevin Maniord, Silver, CHP
  • Andrew Murrill, Silver, CHP
  • Kerry Comphel, Silver, CHP
  • Jason Hughes, Silver, CHP
  • Daryl Hansen, Silver, CHP
  • Timothy Montoya, Silver, CHP
  • David Robles, Gold, CHP
  • Christopher Swanberg, Silver, CHP
  • Christopher Connolly, Silver, California Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Jeff Ginther, Silver, Military
  • Jesse Hernandez, Gold, Military
  • Michael Long, Gold, Military
The Medal of Valor Award is sponsored by the California Department of Human Resources. Award nominations are made by the employee's department, reviewed by the statewide Merit Award Board, and selected by the Director of CalHR. Since the program began in 1959, 591 state employees have received Medals of Valor.

For more information about the Medal of Valor Award, visit Details of each recipient's award will be posted to the website after the ceremony.
CalHR is responsible for all issues related to employee salaries and benefits, job classifications, civil rights, training, exams, recruitment and retention. For most employees, many of these matters are determined through the collective bargaining process managed by CalHR. CalHR was created on July 1, 2012, by Governor Brown's Reorganization Plan Number 1 of 2011. 

The reorganization plan consolidated the State of California's two personnel departments, combining the Department of Personnel Administration with certain programs of the State Personnel Board. For more information about CalHR visit

Friday, May 12, 2017


MAY 14-20, 2017

CDCR staff will participate in the 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service to recognize law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. 

Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week.  National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community. The annual event draws between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement.

There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever.  About 12 percent of those are female.

Since the first known line-of duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Currently, there are 21,183 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Last year we lost 143 Law Enforcement Officers.  Below are a a few sobering statistics: 

  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.
  • There are 1,117 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 689 correctional officers and 39 military law enforcement officers.
  • There are 309 female officers listed on the Memorial; six female officers were killed in 2016.

CDCR staff from the Division of Adult Institutions, Division of Parole Operations, and Division of Juvenile Justice will be present, on May 15, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. during the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.
There will be a number of other scheduled events hosted by organizations honoring fallen law enforcement officers May 14-20, including a 5K, baseball games, police unity tour, family conference, to mention a few.

Police Week will also include the 29th Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13 at 8:00 p.m. The event will be held at the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets.  During the Candlelight Vigil, fallen officers whose names were engraved earlier in the year on the Memorial’s walls are formally dedicated. The ceremony will honor 143 officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2016 and 251 officers who were killed in prior years but had been forgotten by time until the Memorial Fund’s research staff and a team of dedicated volunteers found record of their law enforcement service. This year’s Vigil will also be dedicated to 75 officers who have died from illnesses related to the search and recovery efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  The free public event will be available on webcast.

For more information about the 2017 schedule of events or survivor services, please visit police week or National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

For more information about CDCR, please contact the Office of External Affairs at
(916) 445-4950.

Mental Health Matters Day

Mental Health Matters Day
Building Momentum & Strength TOGETHER

Please join Executive Officer Stephanie Welch, Council on Mentally Ill Offenders, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Mental Health America for Mental Health Matters Day at the State Capitol on May 24, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The event will be located on the east side of the Capitol building.

COMIO’s primary goal is to investigate and promote cost-effective strategies to prevent adults and juveniles with mental health and substance use needs from incarceration or recidivism. Promoting mental health awareness and fighting the stigma associated with mental illness is imperative to meeting that goal.

The free public event will be hosted by Mental Health America, Each Mind Matters, leading mental health organizations, and community leaders to provide resources and raise awareness about the important work being done to improve the lives of those with mental health challenges.

By hosting Mental Health Matters Day, California leaders aim to strengthen our community, divert people from incarceration, and end stigmas associated with mental health.

The Mental Health Matters Day event will feature the following keynote speakers:
Richard Dryfuss, Actor, will share his lived experiences and how they may have had an impact on his personal and professional life.

Lisa Klien, Director, The S Word. A film about a suicide attempt survivor on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of unguarded courage, insight, and humor.

Kevin Berthia will share his story of healing and mental health advocacy. He will speak on the topic of suicide prevention, and the events that led to March 11, 2005 when he stood on the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, ready to take his life.

Kevin Briggs, a retired California Highway Patrol officer, will share his story of stopping upwards of two hundred people from jumping to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay. He will speak on the topic of suicide prevention, including his efforts to successfully convince Kevin Berthia to not jump off the bridge on March 11, 2005.
For additional event information, please visit the
Mental Health Matters Day and join the EachMind Matters social media movement.

Among other things, the event will include mobile food trucks starting at 11:30 a.m. and, live entertainment. Urban Beats will provide an innovative artistic expression program for transitional age youth.
The event is sponsored by California Coalition for Mental Health, National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, and SMUD. Will you be attending? RSVP on Facebook and share the event details.
For information about CDCR or COMIO, please contact the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.

Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 National Correctional Officers and Employees Week

This year the National Correctional Officers and Employees Week is celebrated May 7th through 13th to recognize the continuing contributions to public safety of all correctional employees.

Correctional employees face difficult and dangerous situations every day. This week recognizes the professionalism, dedication, and courage exhibited by correctional professionals in the performance of their duties. 

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) employees have a significant role in the criminal justice system by protecting the public, rehabilitating offenders prior to release, deterring others from offending, and following through with offenders to help ensure successful reintegration back into the community.

Correctional employees work hard to keep Californians safe. CDCR staff trains for the demands of their work, and respond admirably throughout the year. Custody and non-custody employees are part of a proud, long tradition of service. This week is to honor and remember those in our corrections field who serve and those we lost in the line of duty. They will never be forgotten.

Correctional officers and all correctional employees deserve the utmost gratitude and respect. To honor and recognize CDCR employees Secretary Scott Kernan released a memo to all staff thanking them for their service to the Department and the State of California.

Any questions or for additional information about CDCR please contact the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950 or