Magazine article Corrections Today

RICHARD DANSDILL MORE THAN A Job

Magazine article Corrections Today

RICHARD DANSDILL MORE THAN A Job

Article excerpt

Some people just don't Know when to quit. Fortunately, Richard Dansdill is one of them. Dansdill, correctional support supervisor III at Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colo., does more than supervise the kitchen at the state's largest prison, which also provides food service for a nearby close-security institution. He has worked to improve the quality of food service throughout the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC), even though it was not asked of him. Dansdill's passion for professional development led him to develop three food service training courses that now are offered statewide. The courses teach correctional food service workers about the prevention of food-borne illness and the promulgation of sanitary working conditions. "Food service is a profession; it's not a job," he says.

The courses, which range from eight to 40 hours in length, also offer professional certifications to food service workers. Although Dansdill's teaching and course design activities are well outside his job description, he was inspired by what he saw as a lack of skill development among kitchen staff when he started in correctional food service in 1992.

'We did not have any quality training," he says. "I believe that a person will function at the level they are supervised. Without adequate training for our people, how can we expect them to perform at the level we do?"

Dansdill's dedication to correctional food service may be surprising given the circuitous route he took to the field. From the late 1960s through 1980, he was in the insurance industry, working mostly as a claims adjuster. In 1980, he purchased a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Delta, Colo., population: 3,000. A decade later, McDonald's moved into Delta and Dansdill's business suffered, so he sold it and became a security officer at the nearby Delta Correctional Center. Within two years, Dansdill applied to become a food service supervisor. …

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