Every year the CPOF holds a national gathering where they honor any correctional employee killed in the line of duty in the preceding year.
West himself is from what he calls a corrections family. He started in the California penal system, and retired from the New York State Department of Corrections as a lieutenant, with 26 and a half years of service. He has a brother who is a retired sergeant, and his son is currently working in Clinton prison. He considers his wife Ellie an honorary member by being so involved in his career and in the CPOF.
“My blood runs blue from being in corrections so long,” he said
The CPOF is always seeking new members. West proudly points to the fact that 88 cents out of every dollar donated goes back to members. They have three levels at which an officer or staff member can join, $2.50, $5, and $7.50 per pay period. Because they’re a not for profit, the money comes out pre-tax.
He is also seeking “contacts” within the prisons, or someone who can act as his eyes and ears to let the CPOF know when they hear about a member in need.
Anyone interested in joining the CPOF, or getting more information on the organization, can contact West at 569-6813, or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CPOF also maintains the website www.cpof.org, as well as a Facebook page.