August 15, 2019

Union family honors fallen co-worker

AFSCME Local 2073 member Allissa Martin was at a Cardinals-Cubs baseball game in St. Louis when she fell to her death after an altercation with her husband on June 2.

Martin was just 27 years old and a correctional officer at Logan Correctional Center. Her husband—Bradly Jenkins—was a lieutenant at the same facility. The two were newlyweds, married less than a month.

Martin recorded her final moments on her cell phone. She and Jenkins were fighting on a parking garage, and on the video Martin yelled for Jenkins to stop punching her face. She screamed before she fell from the garage.

Police found Martin already dead and Jenkins straddling her body. Jenkins was charged with third-degree domestic assault and is currently out on bond.

Celebration of life

Local 2073 members held a Celebration of Life in Martin’s honor on August 10. More than 450 AFSCME members and their families gathered to mourn the loss of their co-worker and friend, and to celebrate the impact she had on their lives.

“Every year we have a union family party. We figured there would be no better way to preserve her memory than to have the party in her honor,” Local 2073 President Shaun Dawson said. “From this day forward it will always be the Allissa Martin celebration.”

“Officer Martin was every day a positive person,” Dawson noted. “Regardless of how bad the day was going, she had the ability to turn it around. She always made sure that people were as happy as she was… or seemed to be.”

Inviting Martin’s family to join them, the union unveiled a commemorative plaque with Martin’s name and badge number and says, “End of Watch, June 2.”

The plaque will hang in the roll call room at Logan.

“Her watch may have ended that day, but it continues as she watches over those of us who are left behind,” Dawson said. “Everyone will know who Allissa Martin is and the impact she had on our facility.”

Raising awareness

Purple—the color of support for domestic violence victims-- was the dominant color at the celebration for Martin.

“Domestic violence is an issue that lurks in the shadows,” Dawson said. “The people affected by it don’t want anyone to know about the problems that exist behind closed doors.

“What we want is to make sure they know there is help. There are people you can talk to on the other side of those doors. You aren’t alone.”

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