Praise in an Unexpected Place
July 10, 2018
Department of Corrections Officers, left to right, Todd Fix and Erik Phillips. (Photo Courtesy of Department of Corrections)
SPOKANE – It is not often on a Sunday, outside of the work environment, people are recognized for the impact they have in the community while performing their job. That is exactly what happened for two Spokane Community Corrections Officers (CCOs), Erik Phillips and Todd Fix.
Patrick Striker, the Executive Director of Spokane C.O.P.S, a non-profit dedicated to crime prevention in the local community, was attending Knox Presbyterian Church this past May. The message being delivered to the audience was focused on hope. Striker and his team work directly with the department's community corrections officers who conduct their business out of the C.O.P.S location. He was listening intently to the message when to his surprise, the minister brought up two familiar names, Phillips and Fix. Striker listened further to hear preacher Don Meekhof discussing the need for hope and how communities can foster it to improve others’ lives. According to Striker, the minister used the two CCO’s “As a real life example for the congregation to hear, since most of the members have experienced Todd and Eric.” He added that he believes, “The intent was that this example would “hit home” for many in the church.”
The minister continued to reference two previously incarcerated individuals he speaks with personally. Both of the gentlemen praised their Department of Corrections (DOC) CCO’s for the dedication they have, the support they give, and ultimately how they are inspired by Phillips and Fix.
The church has rented out space to house the C.O.P.S business as well as DOC who operate in coordination with the non-profit. There was initially hesitation by the community members, but the church administration and their members have since seen how professional the staff is and how those under supervision really benefit from all of the resources provided by this outstanding partnership.
Striker was proud when he heard Phillips and Fix being recognized, “I don’t think DOC gets nearly enough credit for the work they do, so I was stoked to hear them get called out for the change they bring about in the community.” He knew that having the church, his C.O.P.S. staff, and DOC employees with their community supervised individuals would be a great way to build the community around those needing guidance.
Regional Administrator Kristine Skipworth complimented the two CCOs, “Thank you for your work in the community and your commitment to changing the lives of those we supervise. You truly do embody all that DOC expects of staff and offer hope to those you serve.”