PRESS RELEASE: Stafford Creek Correctional Officer Dies of COVID-19


Released on June 18, 2021

Contact Jacques Coe, (360) 890-0381

Communications office

Correctional Officer Gabriel Forrest

TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections has been informed that correctional officer Gabriel Forrest, 42, died on Thursday, June 17, 2021 from complications from COVID-19.

“Words do not seem sufficient to express our sadness at the loss of Correctional Officer Gabriel Forrest. Our hearts and prayers go out to Gabe’s family for their loss and sacrifice, ”Secretary Cheryl Strange said. “We mourn their loss, as do the extended family at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.”

Forrest began his career as a Correctional Officer at Stafford Creek, was regarded as outstanding by his colleagues and leaders, and was honored in 2018 with the Agency’s Officer of the Year award. correctional services representing the Stafford Creek Corrections Center. Gabe began his career at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center on August 1, 2002 as a Correctional Officer and provided dedicated service to the Department of Corrections and the State of Washington during this time.

“Gabe was a very kind and caring person – I never heard anyone say bad things about him.” said Ron Haynes, superintendent of Stafford Creek Correctional Center. “He was one of the most humble people I have ever known, and I will miss him.”

In accordance with the Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) (pdf), the Ministry starts from the presumption that his death was related to work. The department will consider Constable Forrest’s death as a possible death in the line of duty. For this review, the Department will consult with the following entities: Public Safety Officer Benefits Program, National memorial of law enforcement officers, Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial – Behind the Foundation Badge and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries


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