CAMERON, Mo. — Four correctional officers and two law enforcement officials have been honored for their brave work to end a May 2018 clash at the Crossroads Correctional Center in northwest Missouri’s Cameron. During a ceremony Monday, Missouri Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten says more than 200 prisoners refused to leave two dining halls and staged a protest. The Corrections team notified all housing units to go on lock down – preventing things to escalate to other areas of the prison.
“Conditions quickly deteriorated when offenders breached the kitchen area – obtaining potentially dangerous cooking utensils and began vandalizing the kitchen. Offenders broke out windows, damaged doors and locks, which allowed them to access unsecured areas,” said Karsten.
Department of Corrections workers Cody Ross, Jason Huff, Cade Thompson and Andrew Fritzinger, Cameron Police Chief Richard Bashor and State Trooper Bradley Muck were recognized for quickly acting to de-escalate the situation.
“The corrections officers bravely put their own safety at risk as they inserted themselves into volatile areas to extricate personnel and remove them from the building,” says Karsten.
The Corrections team deployed pepper spray and tear gas and secured doors.
While en route to Crossroads, Bashor activated the Cameron Police Department’s tactical team and mobile command center. He requested and received back up from more than 100 law enforcement officers.
Muck, who had only weeks before completed hostage negotiator training, worked through the night to get the remaining 78 offenders to return to a dining hall and peacefully end the disturbance.
Karsten says no employees were injured and no prisoners were seriously injured. The Department of Corrections says offenders caused about $1.3 million in damage.
A DeKalb County grand jury has indicted more than two dozen inmates for their involvement in the riot. Department of Corrections employees worked several hundreds of man hours and analyzed thousands of hours of video to identify each individual defendant and the illegal acts committed by them.
Eighteen first responders and six civilians were honored for their extraordinary acts in 2018 during Monday’s ceremony in Jefferson City. Missourinet will feature their stories this week.