Anyone who has the opportunity to visit Wesley Bolin Plaza in the state Capitol Mall should stop by a profound memorial that honors the men and women of law enforcement who have given their lives in the line of duty.
The Police Officers Memorial is a beautifully rendered statue of a lawman standing with his head bowed in reverence for those who fell serving this state.
The man who stood as the model for that memorial was himself a law enforcement officer. Gordon Selby was a Phoenix Police detective and later became the assistant chief of the criminal division of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, retiring in 1977.
On Saturday, December 14th, I had the privilege of stepping off the edge of the 27 story CityScape tower in downtown Phoenix and rappelling nearly 300 feet to the ground. It was all for a great cause - raising support for Special Olympics Arizona.
I was by no means alone because I could not have accomplished this feat without the support of many Department of Corrections colleagues.
The people of this department work long hours in a tough environment. But they are generous and gracious with their time and their resources. And for that I'm grateful. Nowhere was that more evident than with this great event.
Going "Over the Edge" was a thrill, but I was most excited to see my daughter Madison when I touched down. That's because she's the reason that I'm willing to go to these heights.
It's been a season of awards at the Department of Corrections.
Not only have we recognized our outstanding personnel with the Employee Recognition Ceremony (see the Dec. 6, 2013 Director's Desk), but the Department has earned some kudos from outside the agency as well.
Every year, inmates from the ASPC-Lewis Complex design and build a float for the Veterans' Day Parade held in Phoenix. I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's very important to pay respect to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States. The inmates who do this work feel the same way.
I'm pleased to report that this float received First Place in the State Government category. And ADC staff members who worked tirelessly to help organize and present this parade earned the "Soaring Over Staging Award" for their outstanding assistance.
The Department of Corrections held its 2013 Employee Awards Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, December 5th in Tucson.
It was a tremendous success, and it showcased the professionalism, dedication and spirit of teamwork that are essential elements of success for this agency. Corrections professionals by nature have to work in cohesion, but it's proper to pay special tribute to those who stand out.
I never fail to be impressed with the stories that are reported as part of these ceremonies. Every year, we hear of men and women who sacrifice their time, go beyond the strict call of duty, and who are willing to risk their lives in the dedicated pursuit of their jobs.
I am honored to be Director of this agency and to be associated with these fine people. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all those who were recognized for their achievements in 2013, and they have my sincere thanks.
Charles L. Ryan
Each December, the Arizona Department of Corrections honors those employees whose efforts have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Both uniformed and non-uniformed personnel are recognized at a formal ceremony for everything from improving the often-unheralded administrative tasks that make this agency function to the truly remarkable acts that protect and save lives.
The people of Arizona should be aware that their tax dollars are being used to serve this great state effectively, and this department is filled with thousands of professionals who are doing a difficult job very well.
It's an honor to recognize excellence at our Employee Awards Ceremony, and I want to publicly thank all the honorees for their hard work.
Charles L. Ryan
In the business of Corrections, the job must be done 100 percent, every moment of each day, whether it's a holiday or not.
But it is important to pause this time of year to remember those things for which we are thankful.
We live under the banner of freedom provided by brave men and women in the armed services, many of whom are half a world away from their families. We should be thankful for their dedication and sacrifice.
Closer to home, I am thankful for the men and women who wear the uniform of the Arizona Department of Corrections. Many of them will spend time away from their loved ones as they pursue their duties with devoted professionalism.
The people of Arizona deserve no less than this Department's full measure of dedication to the job we do. That spirit is embodied by our uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, and I'm grateful to each one of them for doing a crucial job and doing it well.