This week is National Police Week, an annual event that brings together families of the fallen law enforcement officers around the country to Washington, D.C. This year AFGE welcomed Helen Andujar, the wife of Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati, to the capital for the commemoration of the induction of her husband's name and other LEOs’. Lt. Albarati was gunned down two years ago in retaliation for his investigation into a cell phone smuggling ring at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
Also honored at the LEO memorial was a Federal Correctional Complex Butner worker Michael Baskett who was killed in November 2013 while trying to save the life of a delivery driver from a runaway delivery golf cart. Michael was struck and killed instantly.
A candlelight vigil was held on Wednesday night to honor all our fallen heroes who died in the line of duty. Mr. Baskett's wife, Martha Austin, was escorted by Mid-Atlantic Regional Fair Practices William Boseman and Helen Andujar was escorted by Southeast Regional Vice President Robert Swanson.
This Saturday at 10 a.m., the Federal Correctional Institution in?Cumberland is holding a relay race – The Eric Williams Race for Justice – to honor another fallen BOP officer Eric Williams who was stabbed to death by an inmate at USP Canaan in February 2013. USP Canaan will be holding a similar race and other activities in which Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey will be present.
Many other AFGE BOP locals around the country are participating in similar events to bring awareness and raise money for the Eric Williams Scholarship Fund. The scholarships are granted each year by the Williams family to those seeking a career in law enforcement.
AFGE supports several bills that would protect our officers. For example, S. 368 would allow officers to carry their personal firearms while they commute to-and-from work by requiring wardens of BOP-operated institutions to provide a secure storage area located outside of the secure perimeter of those institutions. This is in response to the killing of Lt. Albarati. AFGE also supports a bill that would make permanent the issuance of oleoresin capsicum pepper spray to staff to protect themselves.
“Our fallen officers sacrificed greatly with their lives for the American people and we will not rest until we see justice come for their families and coworkers,” said Council of Prisons Locals President Eric Young.