Sunday, December 9, 2012

USP Lompoc in the News - Memorial highway named for Lompoc prison guard killed in 1997

Memorial highway named for Lompoc prison guard killed in 1997

December 07, 2012 12:20 am • By Robert Cuthbert / Special To The Santa Maria Times

Close friends, family, prison workers and officials gathered Thursday to dedicate the Federal Correctional Officer Scott Williams Memorial Highway near Lompoc.
In a brief and simple ceremony, Williams was remembered, and his sacrifice in the line of duty was eulogized.

In April 1997, Williams and other Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex staff members were moving inmates from the dining area to their cells when inmate Roy Green attacked.

Williams was fatally stabbed in the neck, another officer was seriously wounded, and three staff members received minor injuries before the inmate was subdued. Green was found mentally unfit for trial and civilly committed for life.

The memorial highway begins at Santa Lucia Canyon Road then runs on Highway 1 to Vandenberg’s main gate.

Williams, a Lompoc High School graduate, married his sweetheart Kristy in 1990.

“We grew up here, went to school here and graduated high school here,” said Kristy Williams. “Our families are here. I met him in high school when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore, and we dated all through high school.”

Officer Williams served in the Marine Corps and Operation Desert Storm. Upon returning to Lompoc he became a correctional officer. He left behind his two daughters, Kaitlin and Kallee, who were 5 years old and 11 months old respectively at the time of his passing.

State Sen. Tony Strickland and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian authored the bill establishing the memorial highway. The bill became law in September 2011. The signage required non-state funding delaying the dedication until the $3,000 could be raised.

Barry Fredieu, past president of Local 3048 Federal Correctional Officers union, spearheaded the effort establishing the designation. Williams’ widow and daughters were supportive from the beginning.

“He was true hero; he gave his life — the ultimate sacrifice,” said Fredieu. “He was a decorated marine, a father, a son, he was a co-worker and a friend. We will never forget the sacrifice he made out there at the prison. This is just one of the many memories and tributes we have done for him. His memory lives on with everybody who works out there, nobody will forget.”

Attending the dedication, Warden Richard Ives said the memorial was “well overdue,” and that “Williams is a true fallen hero — not to be forgotten.”

Current Local 3048 President Bert Garnsey agreed that the memorial is overdue. “We are memorializing one of our own who died in the line of duty.”

“It’s something we’ve been working on for over a year,” said Kristy Williams. “It’s nice to actually see it and know it’s going into the ground and is going to be there forever.”

“This is a reminder of what these men and women face everyday when they go to work,” she said. “It’s not a safe environment. They go to work every single day with the knowledge that it could be their last. It takes a special person to do what they do every day. It’s nice to see some recognition.”

Workers lift a road sign Thursday near the entrance of Vandenberg Air Force Base
honoring Officer Scott Williams, who was killed by an inmate while on duty at the
Lompoc Federal Prison in April 1997.

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