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Gregory Matthews

Department of Corrections Award

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Gregory Matthews

Most of you know that I have a son who is a Correctional Officer at a major prison in California.  Many of you know that's a few years back the then Governor of California publicly honored him in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

I have been informed that he is going to be honored again on September 14, in Elk Grove.

The message was somewhat cryptic, and I am attempting to find out more about it.  For now, I do not know exactly who is honoring him, but obviously the Department of Corrections is involved.

But, it seems that sometime earlier he was driving to work and noticed a burning building.   He stopped and helped a woman to escape from her burning apartment. 

I will keep you informed.

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

My son is out of town and out of touch.  I am attempting to piece the story together without real reliable sources.  This is how it is looking at this point in time:

The apartment building is located on a route traveled by a number of prison employees.  My son and another Correctional Officer (CO)  both spotted the burning building as they drove to work and both noted that there were no fire department personnel present.

Both rushed into the burning 2-story building and began evacuating people.  At one point they were both talking to a woman who refused to leave until she located her cat.  At that moment in time, the apartment next to hers was burning and the hallway was filled with smoke.  At the very point where the two COs were preparing to physically remove the woman against her will, she caved in and agreed to go.

Prison officials found out about my son's participation in this due to the fact that when he reported to work that morning his clothing was saturated with the smell of smoke and he was asked to explain.

The is what I believe to be the case now.

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

He will be receiving the Gold Medal, the 2nd highest medal that the Department of Corrections gives.

He has been formally recognized twice before--once for a hostage situation and once for a situation which involved an attack on a correctional officer.

The situation was essentially as I stated above with the following addition:  Some of the people living in the building left on their own accord.  The COs checked all apartments for people who had not left on their own.

Due to the fire in the next apartment and the smoke in the hall, the two COs had entered the apartment of the woman who was refusing to leave until she found her cats.   It was at the point where  they were going to physically remove her that she decided to leave on her own volition.   

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Gregory Matthews

Nobody knows, except, probably, the woman.  As she was told, your cats will return when things calm down and they are ready to come back.

 

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Gregory Matthews

He has 21 years of service as a Correctional officer.  No, he can't retire yet due to his young age.  He had a grandfather who also worked as such and at the same prison.

Below is what the Department of Corrections says about the Gold Star Medal, which is the 2nd highest medal that they award.  The Highest is the Medal of Valor.

At this ceremony, two persons received the Medal of Valor and  four received the Gold Star.  About 55 people received other awards and recognition.  This was from some 60,000 employees of the Department.

Another Correctional Officer received the Gold Star along with David for the same act.  Briefly, driving to work, they noted an apartment building on fire.  They stopped and went through the burning building alerting people that the building was on fire and persuading them to leave.  The last person to leave was a woman who was refusing to leave as she could not find her cats.  The fire was burning the apartment next to  hers.   Just before David and the other officer were going to  remove her by force, she agreed to leave.

 

Quote

The Gold Star medal is awarded for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances.  The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

Does anyone know why David shaves his head bald?  Think about it for a minute.  You can come up with the answer.

 

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phkrause

I don't know why David shaves his head, but I know a number of friends that shave there heads because of either thinning hair or starting to get bald on the top part of there head!! Some of them are pretty young too!! I know that my grandfather, who we used to call Mr Clean, was shaving his head from a very early age.

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Jeannieb43

You can be very proud of your son.   He learned this bravery when he was growing up.

 

 

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phkrause
On 9/23/2017 at 11:10 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

Shaved head:  This prevents an inmate from grabbing his hair in an assault on him.

 

Well I guess that's a good reason!!

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Nan

Being an infrequent visitor these days, I just saw this Gregory and you are justifiably very proud of David.  Especially as this is obviously not a

one off event.

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