By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has chosen Pearl Wilson, a correctional officer at the Morrison County Jail, as its June Employee of the Month.
Wilson, who was nominated by several of the inmates at the jail, has served as a correctional officer for 23 years. She was promoted to sergeant in 2007.
The inmates wrote, “As inmates, we would first like to say that although we are going through an unfortunate time, in owning up to some past mistakes in decision making, we are still like everyone else. It is a growing process working through our past issues.
“The jailors here at the Morrison County Jail are all remarkable for the most part and play a huge role in wanting us to want to better ourselves and overall become better people with skills of caution in our everyday decisions. As inmates, your self worth gets affected and it becomes so important that they see and treat us in the manner they do and that typically is ‘hey you screwed up, we all do, get over it.’ ‘Move on, don’t feel sorry for yourself and ‘so how is your day.’
“They all have a wonderful sense of humor over all their demands and the orderly fashions in which duties need to be done, but yet they all display a level of genuine concern for each individual. Pearl in general, shift after shift, time after time, comes in so bubbly and positive yet firm and friendly, going above and beyond when situations may call for it, always following her job expectations. It is important they all are seen for their gift of balanced authority along with a side of firm friendliness, but in this case we would like to pull her from the rest, giving her a special thanks, in making things really come together and brightening our days as we get through this unfortunate time.”
Wilson’s supervisor Lieutenant Mike Monnier said, “Two words come to mind when describing Sgt. Pearl Wilson, ‘fair and consistent.’ Pearl is respected by the inmates and her fellow staff because they always know where she stands. She constantly enforces the rules and doesn’t waiver when she says ‘no.’ While doing her job her demeanor is friendly and pleasant and she knows where to interject humor and compassion when necessary.”
Wilson and her husband Mike, have a son who is in junior high. She also has two adult daughters and a stepson.
In her spare time she enjoys traveling (especially to Disney), playing cards, shopping, going to the casino, but most of all spending quality time with friends and family which she likes to do at the camper by Garrison.
“First of all I would like to say thank you to those who nominated me. Working in the jail is nothing like people see on TV. As a correctional officer you are always being tested by the inmates. They want to see what upsets you, how thorough you are and what distracts you. But, if you don’t treat them badly or talk badly to them, but you uphold the rules and expect them to follow them, you can gain their respect. Being a correctional officer can be a very exhausting job, both mentally and physically, with a few rewarding experiences. The best part of my job is the camaraderie and the relationships I have developed with my coworkers. I work with great people and we all have each other’s back.”
Wilson’s job entails a variety of duties including booking inmates, taking them to court, making sure they are safe, breaking up fights, serving them food, administering medications and a lot of one-on-one talking.
“There is no judgment,” said Wilson. “People make bad choices but I can listen and be the one person who makes them think before they do it again. We want to release them better than when they arrive.”
In honor of being chosen as Employee of the Month, Wilson will receive gift certificates from Falls Floral, Subway and Johnny C’s. She will also receive a cookbook from St. Gabriel’s Hospital Hospice Program and have her photo take by Silker Studio.