To the Editor:

The recent tragic event and its aftermath have brought great sorrow to the doorsteps of the United States Penitentiary, (USP) Canaan. The senseless and horrific murder of our colleague, brother and friend, Officer Eric Williams and the unexpected loss of Officer Gregory Vineski, has caused tremendous grief. We suffer as an agency, as a correctional institution, and as a member of your community. Over the past several weeks we have been devastated, yet we are humbled by the outpouring of respect, sympathy, support and concern this community offered us. So it is fitting, we convey to you that we draw great strength from the community in which we serve.

On behalf of the staff of this institution, I wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to everyone, for the comfort you provided. Nothing we could ever say will fully express the gratitude and respect we carry in our hearts for this community. The men and women who stand watch at this facility will forever grieve this loss, but we will also ever remember the community who came to our aid and comfort.

The outpouring of grief and concern you extended in the hours and days that followed this tragedy continue to be of great comfort to the colleagues, friends and families of those who were lost. Many of our staff are the sons and daughters of Pennsylvania, which means they are family and friends to many in this community.

As Warden, I also wish to publicly thank the men and women of the several law enforcement, first responder and community agencies who selflessly provided their services to USP Canaan. I can never repay your service, but I can say that it is an honor to serve with you as professionals, and to be your neighbor. Again, words cannot begin to express our sincere gratitude to the fine people of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Our mission and resolve was tested on that terrible night and its aftermath, but we remain more dedicated now than ever to advancing justice for the American people by providing a secure correctional facility within your community.

On behalf of the Bureau of Prisons, the staff and families of the United States Penitentiary, Canaan, I extend our deepest respect and heartfelt appreciation.


David J. Ebbert, Warden, USP Canaan