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Slain Wash. C.O. Remembered, Prison Makes Changes

February 09, 2011  | 


Thousands of well-wishers arrived at the Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash., to honor the life and service of Officer Jayme Biendl, remembering the corrections officer as a cheerful, committed officer.

Officer Biendl, "always said hello and goodbye with a smile on her face," her supervisor Sgt. Jimmie Fletcher said. "She was committed to being a good officer, daughter, sister - not just to her siblings, but to her co-workers."

The memorial was Tuesday. Biendl would have celebrated her 35th birthday on Sunday.

On Friday, the Washington Department of Corrections announced several operational changes to the Monroe Correctional Complex they said would help make officers safer when working alonside violent inmates.

Officer Biendl, 34, was apparently strangled in the Monroe facility's chapel by Byron Scherf, 52, a twice-conviced rapist serving life without parole.

The corrections department announced four inital changes to Washington's prisons:

  • Staff members will be counted whenever an offender can't be accounted for.
  • Response and Movement Officers will begin monitoring single-officer posts on a periodic basis.
  • Prisons will conduct drills on the use of silent alarms that are on all hand-held radios.
  • The agency will no longer have one-day modified lockdowns at all eight major prisons. The agency began the pre-planned lockdowns in November so that additional staff members would have temporary layoffs. 

The changes should enhance officer safety, according to Secretary Eldon Vail.

"We will take every action we can to make prisons safer for our staff," Vail said in a statement. "These are only the initial actions that we will pursue immediately. We will make additional changes once we conduct a thorough review of all our policies and procedures."

Related:

Washington Corrections Officials Respond to Officer's Slaying

VIDEO: Procession for Officer Jayme Biendl

Tags: Corrections, Officer Safety, Officer Memorials


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Bryan @ 2/10/2011 8:58 AM

Maybe I don't know a ton about corrections, but those safety amendments don't sound all that great. Better, but not great. Condolences to the family/friends/co workers.

Rob @ 2/10/2011 2:34 PM

Law Enforcement/Corrections is in the business of noticing things before they become a problem and dealing with them, yes? So how come no action comes from problems reported until AFTER a cop or C.O. is killed? And on top of that, I see nothing listed in their "solution" that deals with the physical security issue of busted cameras.....WTF???

Sky @ 2/11/2011 6:13 AM

How about a change like executing this inmate for committing the murder or is he still innocent until proven guilty? What a system, the greatest free country in the world and no one with political clout cares enough about the victim to lobby for the disposal of this human waste of space. Maybe someone is doing that and will prove me wrong. May she Rest In Peace and condolences to all her friends and relations.

Morning Eagle @ 2/11/2011 9:56 AM

Officer Biendl's murder by an incarcerated POS sex offender should have never happened in the first place and wouldn't have if he hadn't been allowed 'roam around' privileges. What good does it do to sentence someone like Scherf to life without parole if he is going to be let out of his cell yet not monitored closely at all times, but especially when he is given apparently free access to a place where a C.O. was on duty alone regardless that it was a chapel which obviously made no difference to him? The new measures listed here look like so much eyewash for the public that have no real idea of what it is like to work in a prison so we can only hope Secretary Vail's promises of more effective changes will be made to happen very soon. Like today! And I must agree that Scherf should now be sentenced to death and executed forthwith. There is no valid reason we should continue to house and feed him for the rest of his miserable life.

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