Sergeant Paul Edwards has helped create a stable work environment for his colleagues since he began his career at the California Medical Facility (CMF) as a correctional officer in 1987. Recently, Edwards was honored for his contributions by the International Association of Correctional Officers (IACO) as Correctional Supervisor of the Year.
"I think he's great and very deserving. He is very typical of the young officers and supervisors that we have here," said Mike Pickett, warden at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., where Edwards is currently employed.
Edwards and his family traveled to Washington, D.C., April 29-30, to attend the IACO awards banquet. "I was very overwhelmed," he said. "It was hard to feel worthy of something that prestigious." Edwards described the trip as a "life experience," one that he and his family will not soon forget.
Edwards began his career at CMF as a correctional officer. In 1992 he was assigned to the Investigative Services Unit, and approximately one year later, he was promoted to sergeant. Edwards believes that his prior training in the Investigative Services Unit gave him good exposure to what supervisors encounter.
As a result of his dedication, drive, initiative and skills, Edwards has helped to make the institution a much safer and more stimulating place to work. He is genuinely concerned for his subordinates as individuals, and he is constantly encouraging them to pursue higher education and career advancement. According to Pickett, Edwards has the ability to unite and motivate others. "He is very aggressive and smart, a real role model. He is absolutely a marvelous leader that the troops can look up to and emulate."
Edwards has initiated several projects in his facility to improve the quality of working conditions for his employees and create a safer environment for the inmates. An example of this is his training and integration of CMF and Department of Mental Health staff to form a cell extraction team. He has aided in the research and distribution of advanced cell extraction equipment which, according to Edwards, "provides a much safer situation for the staff members."
Each day Edwards is involved in various unique programs at the institution. He participates in the intense treatment of psychiatric patients. Edwards believes that the Department of Mental Health is different from the Department of Corrections in that, despite an offender's prior history, certain activities are carried...