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Michigan Reformatory Officer Craig Altoft chosen as 2016 Corrections Officer of the Year

February 11, 2016


Contact: Chris Gautz, 517-241-0363



Michigan Reformatory Officer Craig Altoft chosen as 2016 Corrections Officer of the Year


Lansing, Mich. – Craig Altoft has been named the 2016 Corrections Officer of the Year for his commitment to the safety of both his colleagues and prisoners, and his drive to serve as a mentor to new officers.


“We are honored to have employees like Officer Altoft, who go above and beyond the call of duty to support their colleagues and uphold public safety,” Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said. “His integrity and exemplary work provide a high standard for others to follow and we are fortunate to have him to guide the next generation of corrections officers.”


The Michigan Correctional Officers’ Training Council, a group comprised of representatives from the MDOC, Michigan Corrections Organization, law enforcement and higher education, selected Altoft from a pool of five finalists.


Other finalists included: Officer Paul Jensen, of Ionia Correctional Facility; Officer Paul Schneider, of Thumb Correctional Facility; Officer Jeff Vanderkooy, of Muskegon Correctional Facility; and Officer Rita Wise, of Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility.


“MCO is proud to join the MDOC in announcing Officer Altoft has been selected as the 2016 Corrections Officer of the year,” said MCO President Tom Tylutki.  “He is a well-respected leader at the Michigan Reformatory, with acts of heroism and leadership over several years. He sets the bar high in all things he does, which we are proud of.”


Altoft took charge when a fellow officer was wounded by a prisoner at Michigan Reformatory in Ionia in December and helped ensure he was safely transported out of the facility to an area hospital.


His calm demeanor and knowledge of policy and procedures have helped ensure the safety of both staff and prisoners, and he has also served as a positive role model for new officers.


“Officer Altoft maintains a positive attitude and is always very encouraging of staff,” said Michigan Reformatory Warden Carmen Palmer. “We are proud to work alongside Officer Altoft.”


Altoft began his career at Deerfield Correctional Facility in 1994 and joined Michigan Reformatory in 2009.


Altoft was a member of the Emergency Response Team at Deerfield Correctional Facility, before its closure in 2009, and has continued to serve as a weapons trainer and mentor to new staff at Michigan Reformatory.


He will be honored during an awards ceremony on May 3 in East Lansing.