Filemoni (Mo) Taaga is one of the original eight Signal 88 officers assigned to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) mental health facility in Anchorage, AK. Mo started with the security company in January 2020 and quickly moved from a dedicated officer to a shift lead. Twice Mo’s peers have voted him employee of the month.
“When the first eight officers came on board at API, they were pulling 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. They did it for a whole month,” Valerie Anderson, the #263 API Site Manager reports. “They really stepped up.”
Mo is readily the kind of employee who steps up for the good of the security team and the API client. The state-run hospital provides outpatient and in-patient mental health services. Mo’s work includes the use of surveillance equipment to monitor patients and staff members and to assist the API staff when a critical situation occurs. He also helps secure the outside of the building and surrounding API property.
“Because we deal with a lot of substance abuse and homelessness, many of the patients are disoriented when they come in,” Mo explains. “We see that change when they sober up and they get to interact with us and the staff through regular daily routines of life and therapy groups.”
Mo is encouraged to see patients regain their mental health and rebuild their lives. One young man stands out in particular. “He was very disoriented and out of touch with everyone. But since he has been with the program, he is the biggest turnaround that we’ve seen,” Mo says. “He used to be very violent and could not communicate with anybody. But now he’s actually interacting with staff and other patients. He should be released soon and I’m glad. We’ve seen a big change in him."
Valerie finds it easy to tout Mo’s work ethic and performance as a Signal 88 officer. “Mo is always on time. He’s always willing to pull an extra shift for anybody. And right now we’re in 12-hour shifts again. Mo does anything that anybody asks him to do,” Valerie adds. “He has a great personality. He’s always willing to listen. He’s very approachable and he’s a people person. All the staff at API really like him and he’s good with patients. We haven’t had any negative feedback on him since he started with us.”
Well done, Mo. We give a hearty applause for your exemplary character and your stellar work. Congratulations on being the Signal 88 August Officer of the Month.