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Michael “Mike” Dupree works in the City of Madison's Public Works Department and has a large hand in keeping Oak Ridge Cemetery maintained through a prison work crew.
On Monday, Aug. 22, Dupree was overseeing a work crew when he witnessed a group of his work-crew's inmates acting suspiciously. Having been certified and trained to take action should such a situation arise, Dupree stepped forward to see what was causing the inmates' suspicious behavior, and discovered contraband to be the focus of the inmates' attention.
According to Dupree's supervisor, Public Works Superintendent David Floyd, officials from the Madison Correctional Institution and Floyd were called to the area following Dupree's discovery of contraband and after the area was investigated, a cache of cell phones and 635 grams of tobacco products were discovered.
“Because he was being on top of his job and observing what the inmates were doing, [Dupree] prevented a large amount of contraband from being taken back to the prison,” said Floyd.
To bring to light the appreciation that MCI felt towards Dupree for his job well done, MCI Warden Robert Smith came before the City Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 13 to present a commendation to Dupree.
“It is people like [Dupree] who make our job easier,” said Warden Smith. “[Dupree] not only helped take care of the community, he also helped reduce the amount of incidents we have within the facility,” added Warden Smith, noting that many of the incidents that take place at Madison County's correctional facility are the result of tobacco products and cell phones being smuggled in. “Just thinking about that tobacco and those cell phones being introduced into our facility... what a problem that would be,” said Warden Smith, adding that while he knows that no facility can be airtight against contraband, through the help of people like Dupree, he hopes to limit inmates' ability to get in contact with the contraband.
“I want to tell Dupree that I appreciate [his] job well done,” said Warden Smith. “I appreciate having people in this community who care about what goes on in the Department of Corrections, especially at the Madison Correctional Institution.”
After Warden Smith heartily thanked Dupree, the commissioners also extended laurels of appreciation towards Dupree, thanking him for staying focused when a crisis arose and keeping the Madison community safe.
Dupree has been employed with the City of Madison for approximately 10 years.
Commissioners also expressed the importance in having city employees, like Dupree, who's actions provide a good working relationship between the city and MCI, as inmates from the facility are one of the primary resources the city uses in keeping the city clean, repaired and manicured.