Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction


May 8, 2000

Ohio Corrections Officer Receives Top Honor


(Columbus) The International Association of Correctional Officers (IACO) bestowed their highest honor on Corrections Officer Donald Ray Morgan this week, naming him National Corrections Officer of the Year. Officer Morgan, 28, also received the Ohio’s prestigious Ronald C. Marshall Award in 1999. He began his career at the Dayton Correctional Institution and has served as a corrections officer (C.O.) at Ohio’s maximum-security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville (SOCF) since 1994.

The IACO was formed in 1978 with a goal of "advancing the profession of the Corrections Officer, at all levels, everywhere in the world." Their primary focus involves the public image of C.O.s; family security in the event an officer is killed or injured in the line of duty; public recognition; training and certification; and professional information. The IACO is a driving force behind Correctional Officer Week, now celebrated in all states and Canada.

"We take great pride in Officer Morgan’s achievement," said DRC Director Wilkinson. "Don is a young, energetic professional who devotes a great deal of time and effort to making our Department the best it can be." Morgan was recognized at the IACO’s official kick-off for C.O. Week in Washington D. C. on Saturday May 6, 2000. He also attended the Council of Governments National Memorial Service. Flags at DRC facilities were flown at half-staff during the time of the service in recognition of fellow officers who were killed in the line of duty.

Morgan is a member of SOCF’s Strategic Response Team (SRT) and Honor Guard. Both teams involve a great deal of personal commitment, time and hard work. His skills in SRT led to his appointment as team leader for the Southeast Regional STAR (Special Tactics and Response) Team, a position held by only four C.O.s in the state. He also assisted in revamping the physical fitness testing program for the STAR Teams.

Morgan has received training and is certified in advanced unarmed self-defense, basic and advanced SRT, basic and advanced Incident Command Systems, rappelling for safety services, Remington Armorer School and tactical tracking. Officer Morgan also serves as an In-Service instructor for fellow SOCF staff. Officer Morgan has significantly enhanced SOCF’s reputation through his involvement and training with other agencies such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Gahanna and Columbus SWAT teams and other Sheriff’s Departments and military tactical units.

For more information, contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.