Board honors officer for going above and beyond

Kevin, BOC with Ofc. Thompson
Ofc. Erik Thompson (center)

The Idaho Board of Correction has presented Idaho State Correctional Institution Ofc. Erik Thompson with its Above and Beyond Award for his efforts to help a family visit an offender after their car broke down on their way to Idaho State Correctional Center on Aug. 16. 

The email you see below, from ISCC Cpl. Steve Seltzer to IDOC Director Kevin Kempf, describes the incident for which the board honored Eric.

Good afternoon,

I wanted to share an experience I had yesterday leaving work that speaks towards our amazing staff.

As I was leaving the crowded lobby of my facility (I.S.C.C.) I politely addressed an elderly lady that was there for a visit.

She looked at me and said "you guys are amazing for everything you do; I want you to know that."

I thanked her, assuming she was referring to our daily duties inside the fences. I was wrong.

In the packed lobby of I.S.C.C. she began telling me that on her way out for her visit her vehicle had broken down on the side of the road leaving her and her companions stranded in the heat and upset about the prospect of missing their planned visit.

She was speaking loud enough so that I could hear her over the commotion of everyone checking in and in doing so began to get the attention of other visitors.

With a growing smile she explained that as they sat there an (unidentified) IDOC officer had pulled up to see if they needed help, the lady, who was now becoming more emotional, described a truly caring and compassionate act of kindness.

Now with nearly all the lobby visitors listening attentively, she exclaimed "not only did he stop to check on us, but when he realized we were going to miss our visit he loaded us up in his car, turned around and drove us out here so we didn't miss our visit." 

The lobby went silent. All the hustle and bustle, chaos and commotion stopped briefly.

In that moment all the visitors were smiling, they too were thankful for that officer’s random act of kindness.

I wasn't the officer that had stopped to help her, but I was the fortunate one to be blessed with her story who had the privilege of experiencing what a random act of kindness felt like.

I felt the attitude of the lobby shift, I felt the appreciation and I received the reward that we in corrections rarely receive from those in the community because of one of our "unsung heroes" kindness.

Whoever it was, I just wanted to voice my appreciation for giving me the rare opportunity to see first-hand what we stand for - together.

One random officer, one random act... it summed up all the reasons why this is the team I call my family and I'm blessed to be a part of it. 

Best wishes,

Steve Stelzer Corporal - I.S.C.C. 

Photo shows IDOC Director Kevin Kempf, BOC Secretary Cindy Wilson, Ofc. Erik Thompson, BOC Chair Debbie Field, BOC Vice-Chair David McClusky

Story published: 08/19/2016
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