Corrections deputies put themselves in danger everyday

April 11, 2014

A letter to the editor.

In the past three years, Mason County has had more than its share of high profile crimes with the Baby Kate case, the wounding of Ludington Police Department Sgt. David Maltbie and the cold-blooded murder of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield II.

These cases have affected the people of Ludington, Mason County and the State of Michigan. The law enforcement community has been especially devastated, by the murder of Trooper Paul Butterfield II. We have observed seasoned first responders and law enforcement officers/deputies weep at the mention of this dastardly deed. My heart goes out to all of those affected.

The responding officers/deputies and investigators have a lot of initial contact with the accused, then convicted and now sentenced felons in these cases.  I wish to recognize the fine Mason County Sheriff’s Office corrections deputies for the dedicated work they do. Their jobs are never without danger, as they always are in contact with felons who are incarcerated, some sentenced, some unable to bond out prior to their trial and some convicted awaiting sentencing.

The inmates in high profile cases are considered high maintenance inmates. Meaning the inmate is housed or transported and cared for separately because of physical health or mental health issues. It often means the inmate is in need of medical care in and out of the facility. It is common for these inmates to stay in the Mason County Jail up to and sometimes over a year before going to trial. On occasion, an inmate could be subject to multiple psychiatric tests and other procedures necessary to ensure fair trials for suspects.  Corrections deputies must treat all inmates equally within their inmate classifications, no matter who their victims are or how brutal the crime. Correction deputies must also protect the inmate from other inmates and or the public while out of the facility for medical appointments, court appearances or anywhere a person or persons may want to take justice in their own hands.

Next time you encounter a corrections deputy please consider thanking them for the service they provide to the people of Mason County and the State of Michigan.

I am proud of our Mason County Corrections Deputies.

Robert A. Wilson

Fountain, MI   

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