MONROE,WA- The first Washington State Department of Corrections Officer died from complications of COVID-19 Sunday. The officer was Berisford Anthony Morse who worked out of the Monroe Correctional Complex.
The Washington State Department of Corrections officials offered condolences to family members Monday.
“It is a tragedy to lose a member of our public safety community and correctional family,” said Stephen Sinclair, Secretary of Corrections. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Correctional Officer Berisford Morse due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to Officer Morse’s grieving family and the sacrifice they have made.”
Officer Morse had worked for the Department since October 2003. During his over 16 year career with Corrections, Mr. Morse worked as a correctional officer at Monroe Correctional Complex and as a non-permanent community corrections officer for seven months in 2013.
Officer Morse worked in the Minimum Security Unit (MSU) of the Monroe Correctional Complex. The MSU there has had 14 positive cases of COVID-19 in the incarcerated population.
Officer Morse last worked at the facility on the morning of April 24th. Mr. Morse contacted the shift commander on the evening of April 24th reporting COVID-19 symptoms. He went to get medical attention. The facility was notified of the positive test April 27th.
Corrections conducted contact tracing and notified any individuals who were determined to be close contacts. Corrections health officials traced the officer was in contact with an inmate who was positive April 12th.
The Department will consult with the following entities: Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial-Behind the Badge Foundation and the Department of Labor & Industries. The Department is honoring Officer Morse’s death as a line of duty death.