I was happy to see the banner on Main Street again this year honoring our police and firefighters. I have lived in Monroe for almost 30 years now and I am thankful that our community takes the time to recognize the service of these men and women. I have the utmost respect for police and firefighters and join my community in honoring them for their work to keep our communities safe.
However, Monroe seems to have forgotten the hundreds of Correctional Officers who serve our community daily at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe. These men and women put their lives on the line each day as they deal with inmates that society has deemed too dangerous to be out in our community. They deal with these inmates using their skill and training as professional Correctional Officers: their weapons are their wits and their skill at negotiating and maintaining order and calm. They face each work day with tremendous courage, as all but the tower guards are unarmed.
In 2011, one of our Correctional Officers was killed by an inmate. During that tragedy, the community rallied around the Correctional Officers and showed their support and respect for the work that they do. Sadly, just a few years later, it appears the Correctional Officers are once again forgotten. Their work continues, with the very real and constant threat of inmate assault. These men and women are heroes who deserve to be recognized for their work in keeping our community safe.
Monroe, whose largest employer is the Department of Corrections, should remember to honor Correctional Officers, along with our Police and Firefighters.