AFSCME Correctional Policy Committee’s response to DOC Commissioner Roy’s press conference July 27


Statement from AFSCME Council 5’s Corrections Policy Committee:

We and our 2,000 correctional brothers and sisters from across Minnesota have spent the past week and a half mourning the loss of our fallen brother, correctional officer Joseph Gomm. We send our condolences to his mother, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and friends. We will hold Joe and his wicked sense of humor, his great sense of integrity and his commitment to our mission close in our hearts.

We want to thank all of the correctional workers, other law enforcement officers and the communities who helped us through this past week. We greatly appreciate the outpouring of love and support for Joe and our correctional family.

We will not let Joseph Gomm die in vain. We want to ensure that every person who works in corrections can come home safely, and that we can keep our institutions and communities safe.

Although the Department of Corrections has communicated during this time of mourning, they have not communicated with us about the safety measures presented today nor given us an opportunity to work with them to find solutions.

We have several policy issues that we will be demanding get resolved. We have dangerously low numbers of correctional officers, levels that are far worse than the statistics reported by DOC today. This is unacceptable.

Officers are not given all the equipment they need to safely do their jobs, and that also must be addressed.

After years of asking legislators for enough funding to do our jobs safely, we are demanding bipartisan support, communication and collaboration from the Department and all levels of state government to provide us with the adequate level of correctional officers, tools, resources and policies we need to do our job and to keep our institutions and the public safe.

John C. Hillyard, president

Jeff Vars

Dan Gorman

Sam Marks

Sam Moore

Anthony Pietrzak

Cami Basta

Jim Barbo

Glenn Lisowy

Chris Bengston

Rick Neyssen

Gerald Firkus

Tim Danger

Derek Magle

Chris Wendover

Anna Koktan

Tim Matson

Eric Jacobson