Miss. city renames highway in honor of slain COs

A portion of I-94 in Jackson County will be renamed after COs Jack Budd and Josephine McCallum, slain in the line of duty in 1987

By Taylor DesOrmeau
Citizen Patriot

JACKSON, Miss. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill to rename a chunk of I-94 in Jackson County after Jack Budd and Josephine McCallum, Jackson corrections officers killed on the job in 1987.

The signs are being placed between exits 139 and 141 in conjunction with the $110 million I-94 construction project, said bill sponsor and State Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover.

A ceremony with the officers' families and the new signage is being scheduled, Alexander said. There's no cost to the taxpayers with this bill, as the Michigan Corrections Organization is covering the cost, she said.

Budd was stabbed to death Dec. 27, 1987, at the State Prison of Southern Michigan by a prisoner who had attacked an officer escorting him to the shower. Despite being stabbed, Budd helped subdue the prisoner, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections website. He died an hour later.

McCallum was found raped, strangled and beaten on March 24, 1987, at the State Prison of Southern Michigan. There were no witnesses, per MDOC, but the attacker was discovered and sentenced for first-degree murder.

The "Corrections Officers Jack Budd and Josephine McCallum Memorial Highway" pays tribute to the victims' families, Alexander said, but also honors the work corrections officers in Jackson County and around the state do every day.

"It's a recognition for all of our correction officers," Alexander said. "Correction officers, I give them a lot of credit, they're working in an environment many people would rather not be in."

The deaths of Budd and McCallum led to changes in the department, per an MDOC press release. Increased training, more staffing and the division of the prison into smaller, more manageable facilities came in the wake of the incidents.

"They gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to Michigan, to keep others safe," said MCO Director of Government and Political Affairs Jeremy Tripp. "Soon, thousands of vehicles on I-94 will pass by a sign that will remind the public of the sacrifice Budd and McCallum made and the tough job corrections staff walk into every day."

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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