Major County Sheriffs of America President Peter J. Koutoujian, Corrections Officer Elvis Fejzic, and Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg (left to right). | Provided Photo

A Lake County Jail correctional officer was awarded nationally as “Correctional Officer of the Year” for saving the lives of multiple inmates in 2020.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Corrections Officer Elvis Fejzic received the award recently in Boston during the Major County Sheriffs of America fall conference.

Fejzic had also been awarded as the 2020 “Correctional Officer of the Year” by the Illinois Sheriff’s Association.

Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg nominated Fejzic for the awards after he successfully stopped three inmate suicide attempts.

“Sheriff Idleburg nominated CO Fejzic not only because of his above-and-beyond actions, but also because of his positive attitude, his spirit, and because he always uses his best efforts to do the right thing. He is encouraging to the inmates he is sworn to protect, and he is a role model to his fellow colleagues,” the sheriff’s office said on Saturday.

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In May 2020, Fejzic used his de-escalation abilities to calm an inmate threatening self-harm.

Lake County Sheriff Chief of Corrections Patrick Firman, Corrections Officer Elvis Fejzic, and Sheriff John Idleburg (left to right). | Provided Photo

“Through his calm demeanor and treating the inmate with concern and dignity, he gained compliance and was able to ensure the inmate received the mental assistance he needed,” the sheriff’s office said.

In August 2020, Fejzic observed an inmate attempting to choke himself with a bedsheet and took action.

Fejzic entered the inmate’s cell and unwrapped the sheet from around the inmate’s neck.

A month later, Fejzic found an inmate attempting suicide with a t-shirt in his jail cell.

Fejzic and his partner, Corrections Officer Matthew Outinen, entered the inmate’s cell, cut the shirt off of the inmate’s neck and administered first-aid.

The sheriff’s office said that Fejzic was also recognized for his thoroughness in preventing numerous items of contraband from entering the inside of the jail.