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2019 Commissioner’s Award Winner Named

Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Lori Benoit
Contact Email:
September 24, 2019
2019 Commissioner’s Award Winner Named
Derek McKinney recognized

FORSYTH, Ga. –  The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) honored Derek McKinney, Office of Professional Standards, with the Commissioners Award at the 15th Annual GDC Awards ceremony on September 24 at GDC headquarters in Forsyth, Ga.  Several key officials were on hand for the ceremony, which was attended by more than 400 guests. Making the award presentation with Commissioner Timothy C. Ward were Alton Russell, Board of Corrections Chairman, Christopher Clark and Donnie Pope, Board of Corrections.

“McKinney is an invaluable asset to the department and the community,” said Commissioner Timothy C Ward.  “His knowledge and experience have helped countless agencies in the apprehension and detection of notorious criminal street gangs.”  

McKinney has been employed with the Department for 24 years and has spent the past six of those years with the Office of Professional Standards as the Security Threat Group (STG) Coordinator. He has been tasked to maintain, train, and supervise the STG program, to include 3 Assistant Coordinators and 30 Gang Sergeants assigned to Facility Operations. In addition to his role as STG coordinator, McKinney is recognized throughout the State of Georgia as an expert in criminal street gangs, and provides training to numerous law enforcement agencies.

This prestigious award is presented in recognition of employees who work across different departments, units, and divisions to accomplish an initiative or project. These individuals maintain an open line of communication with other departments to fulfill the agency’s mission. Criteria also includes going above and beyond the call of duty; making a notable impact on the agency as a whole; demonstrating leadership qualities; and focusing on the needs of the agency.



About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit

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