By Lt. Charlene Billings, AA/PIO
California Correctional Center
Veterans Day was a special one in 2017 as California Correctional Center (CCC) presented the Lassen County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) with a handmade American flag and the VFW recognized Lt. Chance Andes as Officer of the Year.
The flag was designed by inmate Thor Ostling constructed from decommissioned fire hoses.
CCC Warden Suzanne Peery, Chief Deputy Warden (A) Steve Cagle, and Fire Captains Scott Head and Chris Hallmark presented the Lassen County VFW with the flag on Nov. 10.
Ostling, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is a firefighter at CCC. He designed the flag using decommissioned fire hoses. Other inmates housed at the firehouse pitched in to help put together the flag.
The VFW also holds an annual award ceremony for peace officers to show their appreciation for law enforcement. Among the agencies recognized by the Lassen County VFW are California Highway Patrol, Susanville Police Department, Susanville Sheriff’s Department, California Correctional Center, High Desert State Prison and Lassen County Fire Department.
The VFW provides the wardens and supervisors with a plaque to present to the person each department selects for the Officer of the Year.
Warden Peery presented Lt. Chance Andes with the Officer of the Year Award for 2017. This year, Lt. Andes and his ISU team have apprehended five inmates who walked away from camp, and issued 10 search warrants for civilians introducing controlled substances into the institution. Also, CCC investigators have discovered approximately 1,300 cellular phones, 77 weapons, 62 hypodermic syringes, 133.7 ounces of marijuana, 34.4 ounces of synthetic cannabinoids, and 6.3 ounces of heroin this year among the inmates housed at CCC and the 18 Northern Fire Camps.
The prison value of the controlled substances alone exceeds $730,000.
Lt. Andes and his team work diligently in processing these cases, interviewing all inmates involved and testifying in court. Lt. Andes takes great pride in the investigation of 20 inmates who were manipulating the inmate mail process by conspiring to introduce suboxone into the institution and the successful tracking and documenting of an inmate’s gang activity in the institution, resulting in a gang enhancement charge.
“We’re proud to present the handmade American flag to the Veterans of Foreign Wars this year, to show our gratitude for their service in the military, and also for acknowledging the officers in the community each and every year,” said Warden Peery.