When cancer claimed Correctional Officer’s life, CRC staff there to help

Warden Cynthia Tampkins joined the Chicano Correctional Workers Association for a fundraiser for the family of an officer who lost his battle with cancer.

Warden Cynthia Tampkins joined the Chicano Correctional Workers Association for a fundraiser for the family of an officer who lost his battle with cancer.

By Lt. Sarah Watson, AA/Public Information Officer
California Rehabilitation Center

Staff from the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) Chicano Correctional Workers Association (CCWA) recently donated over $3,800 to the family of Correctional Officer Dolphas McClellan.

Officer McClellan passed away on Thursday, July 21, 2016, after a short battle with brain cancer. He started his CDCR career on Jan. 3, 2006, as a Correctional Supervising Cook at the California Institution for Women.

On May 21, 2007, he reported to the Basic Correctional Officers Academy. After graduation, Officer McClellan reported to CRC where he remained until his health failed.

McClellan was very proud of being a chef and graduate of the famous Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute of America. He would never allow anyone to just call him a cook; he would say, “No, I’m a chef.”

Officer McClellan participated in a barbecue cook-off with Officer Carl Mayfield representing California Correctional Peace Officers Association during a Police and Tactical Conference in Los Angeles. They prepared barbecued ribs and chicken to serve conference attendees; with the amount of meat cooked, they were able to also feed CRC staff after the event.

CRC staff has donated over $7,000 to the family after learning of McClellan’s illness. After a personal visit with Officer McClellan and his family, Warden Cynthia Tampkins was told Officer McClellan was not able to climb the stairs to his bedroom and had to sleep in the living room.

The warden learned the living room was the coldest room in the house and the heating system was no longer working. The warden called prison management staff together and the heating system was fixed the next day.

Correctional Officer Ashfaq Chaudhry has been instrumental in organizing numerous fundraisers with the help of staff participation to help not only Officer McClellan and his family but any staff in need.

Correctional Sgt. Henry Ornelas, the president of CCWA, and members came together to raise funds by a taco food sale combined with a raffle ticket fundraiser.  The association donated the meat and various members donated sides, paper goods, and their time to prepare and sell meals.  The raffle prizes consisted of two tickets to a University of Southern California football game and five original solid bronze CRC belt buckles from 1987.

Staff came from every department of the institution, on their day off, retired, and others who have gone on to other departments, came to partake in the food, fellowship, to make donations, and to pay their respects to the family.

Officer McClellan is survived by his wife, daughter and son.

CRC's CCWA chapter held a taco fundraiser for their coworker's family.

CRC’s CCWA chapter held a taco fundraiser for their coworker’s family.

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2 Responses

  1. Steven.Comer Sunday, December 11, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Humbled and blessed to be at CRC. Always unselfish, CCWA and Management always seem to do the right thing when it matters.

  2. Juanita Crosby Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    RIP Correctional Officer Dolphas McClellan. Very impressed with everyone who donated to this worthy cause!

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