Correctional employees deserve recognition, too

By: 

Greg Trinko, Special to the Leader

National Corrections Employee Week (May 7-13) looks to recognize those individuals, largely unknown to the public they serve, for choosing a profession that is demanding, stressful and too often times, dangerous. Yet they respond admirably and reliably every day 24/7, 365 days a year.

Recently, law enforcement and corrections have been portrayed negatively in the media, movies and television. While many work to show support for law enforcement, the correction officer is left out of the conversation.

Everyone working in corrections enters through a locked door each day. Every employee, from clerical, medical, food service, maintenance, administration, to the corrections officers themselves, is locked inside a hostile environment for each shift or work day. Most others drive by staring wondering what it’s like on the inside.

Every violent offender, every inmate sentenced to life in prison was first incarcerated in a county jail. We are the first step in the criminal justice system. These dedicated employees put themselves in harm’s way to keep those offenders separated from the community, while at the same time trying to return that offender to the community better than when they were taken out of it.

They do this while unarmed and mingling with the inmates; yet some question their courage. They help those unable to help themselves, while some question their compassion. They enforce laws locked inside, outnumbered more than 25-1, while some continually deny their role as law enforcement officers.

Recognize and remember that the corrections employees in your community are protecting you and ensuring everyone’s safety by limiting the freedom of those who have harmed you. There are very few who do more to ensure our citizens live without fear.

To the Shawano County corrections employees, I say this: What you do is important. Don’t forget, you do make a difference. You can be proud of accomplishing the mission of protecting our community.

Here are your Shawano County corrections employees:

Corrections officers: Susan Ponchaud, Tim Brusewitz, Todd Lohrentz, Deborah Hoffman, Wendy Hafner, James Wickesberg, Brenda Lynn, Lisa Boettcher, Milt Marquardt, Samantha Williams, Terry Knope, Daniel Breutzmann, Cory Ladwig, Patricia Ketterhagen, Kyle Gerhard, Misty Bloecher, Michelle McCauley, Krista Buettner, Holly Cummings, Brianna Laabs, Ryan Janka, Christopher Eggert, Joshua Steppe, Natalie Flint, Gregory Grunewald, Sean Bahr, Jared Schultz, Jamie Pingel, Emily Ortner, Cody Vigue, Hunter Micolichek, Chad Betz, Nicholas Burkart.

Jail sergeants: Marv Ninham, Mike Pingel, Tom Kristof, Joel Minniecheske, Dylan Berg.

Food service: Jolene Daniel, Debra Hintz, Rose Flessert, food service manager Liz Reissman.

Administration: Kristie Runge, Debra Bekkum, Lts. Greg Nelson and Troy Beyer, administrator Greg Trinko.

Greg Trinko is the jail administrator for the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office.