Monument honors sworn officers killed in the line of duty this century
(Editor’s note: What was then known as the California Department of Corrections published the following story in Correction News in their December 1999 issue, volume 11, number 12. More names have since been added to the memorial.)
The memory of the state’s 28 sworn correctional peace officers who died in the line of duty this century was honored with the dedication of a new monument unveiled in October.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante presided over the dedication ceremony at the California Correctional Peace Officers Association headquarters in West Sacramento on Oct. 29.
A correctional officer’s job is a “special calling,” Bustamante said at the ceremony. “And what do we call the men and women who serve this calling? We should call them heroes.”
The memorial consists of a 20-foot-long arched, black granite wall inscribed with the names of the 28 men and women who were killed by inmates at the state’s adult and youth prisons this century. Located nearby is a bronze statue of a uniformed bugler and a long, narrow reflecting pool and fountain.
Two hundred guest attended the ceremony, which also featured remarks by CCPOA president Don Novey and Assemblymember Helen Thomson, who represents the West Sacramento area. A color guard from the California Youth Authority’s Preston School of Industry in Ione and a Folsom State Prison honor guard also participated.
The oldest name on the monument belongs to Officer William Cotter from Folsom State Prison. Cotter died in 1903 while attempting to protect the prison’s warden during an escape attempt by 14 inmates. The newest entry on the monument is the name of Ineasie Baker, a counselor at the Youth Training Center in Chino, who was killed by an inmate in 1996.
San Quentin and Folsom, the state’s two oldest and toughest prisons, account for 17 of the 28 names on the monument. With 13 deaths, the 1970s were perhaps the deadliest decade for correctional officers, eight of whom died during an 18-month period between 1970 and 1971 as part of the bloody events involving inmate George Jackson and his followers.
The monument includes the only warden to die as the result of prison violence this century. Folsom’s Clarence Larkin died in 1937 after being stabbed by inmates for refusing to order guards to throw down their guns and open the gates during an escape attempt.
The names of the following sworn correctional officers are listed on the monument dedicated in their honor:
- William Cotter, Folsom (July 1903)
- John Drewry, Folsom (October 1914)
- Frank Edward Maher, Folsom (October 1914)
- Branch Miller, San Quentin (August 1925)
- Ray Singleton, Folsom (November 1927)
- Charles Gillies, Folsom (November 1927)
- Harry Martin, Folsom (September 1937)
- Clarence Larkin, Folsom (September 1937)
- Willard Johnston, Folsom (February 1938)
- Raymond Messer, Lancaster (August 1951)
- Vern Mackin, San Quentin (January 1952)
- Charles Wiget, San Quentin (January 1952)
- Connie Prock, Deuel Vocational Institution (June 1963)
- John Mills, Correctional Training Facility (January 1970)
- William Shull, Correctional Training Facility (July 1970)
- Robert McCarthy, Correctional Training Facility (March 1971)
- Kenneth Conant, Correctional Training Facility (May 1971)
- Leo Davis, San Quentin (July 1971)
- Jere Graham, San Quentin (August 1971)
- Frank DeLeon, San Quentin (August 1971)
- Paul Krasenes, San Quentin (August 1971)
- Jesus Sanchez, California Institution for Men (October 1972)
- Richard Ochoa, San Quentin (April 1976)
- Albert Patch, California Medical Facility (August 1980)
- Howell Burchfield, San Quentin (June 1985)
- Leslie Macarro, Youth Training Center (May 1988)
- Ineasie Baker, Youth Training Center (August 1996)