Corrections Chief Executive Barry Matthews presented the first ever Chief Executive’s Special Commendation Award at a special presentation in Blenheim today.
The award is for staff who display exceptional behaviour through courage, initiative or skill in one-off situations and was given to Community Probation & Psychological Services Senior Community Work Supervisor Deanna (Dee) Gulliver.
Dee, who is based in Blenheim, received the award for her work in defusing a volatile situation involving two rival gang members.
Mr Matthews said the two men were reporting for Community Work and began to get very aggressive towards each other, with associates of each gang backing them both up.
“The situation could have quickly turned nasty if it had not been for Dee’s quick action. She stepped between the two gang members and their associates to defuse the situation, she spoke firmly to all the men, telling them to stop and that their behaviour was unacceptable.”
“It was a very courageous act. These were not small or timid men by any stretch, but she took control to obtain a peaceful outcome. Dee already had considerable mana, but earned the respect of both offenders and staff as a result of this incident.”
In addition to Dee’s work as a Senior Community Work Supervisor, she also works as Kaiwhakahaere to establish more effective relationships with Māori offenders.
The Chief Executive’s Special Commendation Award was launched in April 2009. Nominations are open to all Corrections staff, volunteers and the employees of partner agencies where appropriate.
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