Message from Governor Rick Scott to State Employees Featuring DC’s Nichole Landrum

Since 1918, the United States has set aside November 11 to recognize the selfless sacrifices of our dedicated service men and women. While we should always remember the allegiance and service of our nation’s veterans, tomorrow serves as a day of special appreciation for the members of our Armed Forces. As Floridians and Americans, we would do well on this Veterans Day to follow the example set forth by those in uniform and give more of ourselves to others. I encourage you to approach tomorrow with a restored sense of appreciation for our military, both past and present, and never forget that the blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness only come through great sacrifice.

I would now like to recognize four Florida state employees for their hard work and commitment to public service. The first person I would like to recognize is Nichole Landrum, a program administrator with the Department of Corrections. As part of the Veteran’s Dorm Project, Nichole was tasked with designing and implementing veteran dormitories for inmates throughout our prison system. In only matter of months, Nichole was instrumental in creating a cohesive program by identifying institutions, establishing rules, inmate criteria and curriculum. A huge undertaking, Nichole not only took it upon herself to ensure the project was completed by Veteran’s Day, but she did it at no cost to Florida taxpayers. Designed to provide specialized services and re-entry programming to incarcerated veterans, the project provides that within three years of release from prison, veteran inmates will have the opportunity to participate in specialized pre-release services, cognitive thinking training, PTSD counseling and, if necessary, job readiness and academic and vocational programs. Today, five veteran’s dormitories have been established.

I would also like to commend Officer William Jackson and Assistant Superintendent Charles Pitts for their bravery in a medical emergency last month at the Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Clearwater. On Oct. 5, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Detention Officer William Banks fell to the dining hall floor at the detention center. William Jackson quickly came to his aid and called 911 upon finding Banks unresponsive. Charles Pitts, who offered his assistance, determined Banks was not breathing and had no pulse. Pitts, a CPR instructor, performed the life-saving procedure on Banks and also used a defibrillator on Banks, who then became responsive. An emergency medical crew arrived and transported Banks to the hospital, where it was determined that Banks suffered a heart attack. The physician also said that if Pitts had not responded as quickly as he had, performed CPR and administered the defibrillator, Banks would have died. Banks remains on medical leave. Thank you, William and Charles, for your quick action and courageous efforts to save another man’s life.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Jenny Kim, a senior attorney with the Division of Finance. In late September, Jenny received the Government Attorney of the Year Award by the Florida Government Bar Association. The prestigious award recognizes a Tallahassee-based attorney who has “demonstrated professionalism in the practice of law and performed above and beyond the call of duty.”

Thank you to all of our State of Florida employees for your diligence and hard work. I hope you have a great Veteran’s Day.

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