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Thumb Correctional Facility officer named Corrections Officer of the Year

Vikas Vij is the 2021 Michigan Corrections Officer of the Year.
Vikas Vij is the 2021 Michigan Corrections Officer of the Year.(source: Michigan Department of Corrections)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 12:51 PM EST
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LAPEER, Mich. (WJRT) - An employee of the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer has been named Michigan’s Corrections Officer of the Year for 2021.

Vikas Vij, who immigrated to the U.S. from India when he was 8 years old in 1995, has worked as a corrections officer at the Lapeer prison for nine years. Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said he is known for a positive outlook that uplifts others.

“He is a true public servant who works tirelessly to make a difference in his community and at work, both in the lives of those he supervises and in his colleagues with his positive attitude and strong work ethic,” she said.

Vij has received multiple Warden’s Coins for finding contraband in the prison, including a visitor who tried to smuggle $1,200 and a lighter inside. Outside of work, he helped raise money for Special Olympics and volunteers at his daughter’s school.

“I feel honored and humbled out of all the officers nominated, I was selected to be officer of the year,” Vij said.

He became the first member of his family to earn a college degree when he graduated from Oakland University with a major in political science.

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