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."