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McKinley County Adult Detention Center officers recognized

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Quick thinking, action saves a life

The efforts of several corrections officers at McKinley County Adult Detention Center were instrumental in preventing a suicide on the premises in October.

Warden Tony Boyd spoke at the McKinley County Board of Commissioners meeting Dec. 3 to recognize those responsible for their work.

“On Oct. 20, an officer was working on patrol when she noticed a female tenant attempting suicide. She immediately notified Sergeant Corraine Johnson, Officer Mariah Murphy-Watchman, Officer Amber King, and Officer Maylon Sanchez,” Boyd said.

If the corrections officers had not done what they did, the outcome of the situation could have been drastically different, Boyd added.

“They were able to assist a female and inform medical staff, which saved this young girl’s life,” Boyd said.

While each of the officers involved in the incident were recognized by their peers at a general staff meeting several weeks ago, Boyd said he wanted them to be recognized by the county for their efforts.

After the officers stood for photos, the board offered its thanks.

“You step up and do what you need to do, and we appreciate that,” Commissioner Billy Moore said. “That’s what makes McKinley County successful.”

McKinley County Chairman Bill Lee said the officers not only have the board’s thanks, but also likely the thanks of the young woman’s family.

“What you’ve done is not only commendable, but really touches my heart,” Lee said. “This brings to light what you deal with on a daily basis at the adult detention center.”

Lee said a lot of people don’t realize the county jails have become the place where a lot of people with mental issues have been placed.

“For you to be able to intervene, get treatment, and then put this young lady into a program and help her gets (sic) the help she needs, which means her life goes on,” Lee said. “These are thankless jobs that go on day in, day out, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The professional work the adult detention center staff perform[s] should not go unnoticed.”

Other items discussed at the meeting:

The second reading of the Liquor Excise Tax ordinance was held and the action to implement the ordinance was approved with a 3-0 vote.

The items pertaining to the tabled Ceremonial building repairs were brought back to the board. County Attorney Doug Decker said the grant agreement from the previous meeting was sent back to the state and the language in the agreement was changed to terms the county could now agree with. The grant agreement and resolution for repairs to the Ceremonial building were approved with a 3-0 vote.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent