CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn presented medals and citation bars to seven officers at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord. For the first time since 1996 two of those officers received the Department’s highest level of recognition, which is the Medal of Honor.
They were honored for their various roles in a serious incident that occurred in the Close Custody Unit of the Concord facility on January 16, 2015. An inmate armed with handmade weapon threatened and attacked the officers before he was subdued and the weapon removed from his hand. The following medals and citation bars were awarded.
- Corrections Officer Peter Ash received the Medal of Honor. Officer Ash put himself between the armed inmate and a Corrections Officer Trainee whom he had pushed to safety with full knowledge of the risks to his personal safety. Officer Ash engaged the inmate, distracted him from other staff, and used defensive tactics training to help subdue the inmate. No other staff or inmates were harmed.
Corrections Sgt. Robert Parent received the Medal of Honor. He was the second officer to respond to the incident. He also knowingly put himself in harm’s way by stepping between the armed inmate and other staff. He used defensive tactics to push the inmate back toward a wall where he was more easily subdued.
- Corrections Lt. Michael Marden received the Department of Corrections Life Saving medal. Once the inmate was pushed back toward the wall he was able to tackle him from behind and push the inmate into a nearby recreation yard while controlling the inmate’s arm that that held the weapon. His actions helped clear the area preventing potential injuries or death to staff or other inmates.
- Corrections Sgt. Michael Mosher, Corrections Officer Joseph Laramie, Corrections Officer Jason Whitney, and Corrections Officer Todd Phelps received the Department of Corrections Team Commendation citation bar for their roles in helping to manage the incident. Officer Phelps initiated the calls for assistance. Sergeant Mosher used a non-lethal electronic control weapon to weaken the inmate’s grip which allowed Officer Laramie to retrieve the weapon from the inmate’s hand. Officer Whitney helped subdue and handcuff the inmate.
“The actions of these officers were exemplary and showed professionalism and a devotion to public duty. They are to be commended for their extraordinary achievements,” Wrenn said.