A Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) Correctional Officer and two Correctional Sergeants were recently honored by the Law Enforcement Administrators of Del Norte County (LEADN).

PBSP Warden C.E. Ducart presented the awards at Del Norte’s LEADN 21st Annual Award Ceremony. The awards were given to Investigative Services Unit (ISU) Correctional Officer James Dickerson and ISU Correctional Sergeant Martin Graves, both of who are assigned to the PBSP Security Squad, and to Correctional Sergeant Owen Spencer.

In March 2014, and again in July 2014, Officer Dickerson and Sgt. Graves were called upon to assist in the search and apprehension of an escaped inmate.  The inmates were assigned to satellite conservation camps and were under the custody of the California Correctional Center in Susanville, California.

In both instances, Officer Dickerson and Sgt. Graves responded quickly with an Escape Response Team.  Upon arrival at the camps, they participated in an investigation and assisted in the search. Utilizing their tenure and the wisdom obtained from years of experience in investigations, they surmised an escape route, converged on the suspected area, and personally apprehended both escapees.

In the early hours of December 21, 2014, A PBSP Correctional Sergeant awoke at his home from a temporary loss of consciousness and knew he needed to seek medical attention. The Sergeant alerted his wife and headed out the door for their vehicle.

His wife found the Sergeant lying unconscious on the ground.  The wife dialed 911 to summon Emergency Medical Services and then ran to the nearby home of Sergeant Spencer.

Sergeant Spencer was awoken by the frantic wife.

Sergeant Spencer’s training as a First Responder took over and he hurried to the side of the stricken Sergeant.  He started giving the Sergeant CPR while the wife prayed and pleaded for the life of her husband.

Upon arrival of EMS, the Sergeant transported to Sutter Coast Hospital, where he was placed on a Life Flight to Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Oregon, for a higher level of care.

It was later learned that the Sergeant suffered what would have been a fatal heart attack, and that the direct actions of Sergeant Spencer saved his life.

PBSP awards

From left, Sgt. Owen Spencer, ISU Sgt. Martin Graves, ISU Officer James Dickerson, Warden Clark Ducart.