Celebrating the Unsung Heroes

PORTALES, NM – The Roosevelt County Board of Commission adopted a proclamation during their regular commission meeting observing May 5-11, 2024 as National Correctional Employees Week. The Commissioners called upon all citizens of Roosevelt County and upon all patriotic, civic and educational organizations to observe the first full week of May as National Correctional Employees Week in honor of those correctional employees, whom deserve recognition, respect, and appreciation for ensuring that the detention facility and functions are operated safely and humanely. 

There are 32 full-time positions at the Roosevelt County Detention Center, which is operated 24 hours a day all year.

Here are some highlights from staff members who were asked to reflect on their roles:

Detention Officer Rodriguez said she met her best friend who is also a staff member. She wanted to gain experience for a career in law enforcement. Rodriguez enjoys building rapport and helping detainees work to change their lives.

Detention Officer Wiard saw the role as an entry into law enforcement. He shared that he felt most people who become incarcerated are good people, they just messed up. Wiard highlighted that staff must have a “thick  skin” and not let detainees’ words get to them.

Sergeant Pilkington started as an officer to get his foot in the door for law enforcement. However, he stated he chose to stay for the opportunity for advanced training, growth and knowledge. He likes helping people and has found he can really help in peer support and being strong for those in need. “You learn how to deal with confrontation in a positive, healthy way,” added Pilkington.

Detention Officer Parker noted the dynamics of the population are always changing, it’s never exactly the same from day to day. Parker shared that he found it fascinating to see how other minds work, and really enjoys helping others so hopefully we don’t see them incarcerated again.

Sergeant Burris said “I believe I can influence change with my position for the good.” He continued this included helping others learn to cope, de-escalation and making time to help especially when the days are busy.  He said he’s learned patience, has more empathy and understanding, and has learned how to be more impactful.

Detention Officer Hartman noted that every day is different, and the job was exciting every day. “I like helping people, and we serve as a whole for the county and public. Being detained can be traumatic  for some. I’ve learned to let things go and not to take it personal.”

Dorothy Minor started as a detention officer,  promoted to a sergeant and now has settled into a new role in administration. “I never thought I’d love working in corrections. I now understand the importance of what we do and I’ve found my voice here.” She added she loves helping and encouraging her peers, the teamwork and togetherness and positive workplace morale.

Detention Officer Tinnel loves the fast pace within the facility. “We stay so busy getting all of the daily things completed. We have fun at work, and are able to talk with others and share a good laugh. I’m way more social than I was and I’ve come out of my shell.”

Detention Administrator Shayla Ramsey followed in her family’s  footsteps as she began as a Detention Officer in 2014. Over the years she has worked to achieve promotions to sergeant, case manager, accreditation lieutenant, and now the facility administrator. Ramsey is highlighting the hard work and contributions of her team this week through the coordination with her leadership team of various onsite events such as potlucks and fellowships.

“Though corrections personnel are often out of sight, they provide a vital public safety function for our entire county,” stated Ramsey. “I hope you will join in recognizing these often unsung heroes for their dedication to providing a safe and secure detention experience.”


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