MARQUETTE — The County Sheriff Departments across the U.P. are currently going through training to help better prepare corrections officers.
The 160 hour Local Corrections Academy has been going on for over 7 years now. Not only was it created to help teach new employees how to effectively perform duties in different scenarios, but also to protect all individuals involved in said scenarios. Corrections Officers is a job many don’t realize exist; this is due to not seeing them perform their job in most cases. With that being said, a lot does go into this career through law enforcement, and being safe and successful performing these duties is always priority number one.
“We have a day-to-day task that we come and do, that most people don’t want to do,” explained Lt. Brian Steede, Marquette County Sheriff’s Office. “You see a road officer in a car and you forget that there are people locked up in jail and they are being taken care of 24/7.”
This academy allows new officers to learn from past experiences of veteran officers and collaborate with other agencies. This can create more efficient and prepared staff for scenarios that may happen in their futures.
“It definitely can and I think that is a big part of it is not just doing the right thing, but also being prepared when you see it,” said Ken Waldrop, Corrections Officer for Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department. “It then won’t be such a shock to you, because it’s something that you have trained for and you can lean on that training. You can do that training if you have questions. If you can’t lean on that training then you need to go get the proper answer before taking action.”
Another factor for this training is to help these officers decrease stress, and decrease the turnover rate for the staff that gets burnt out due to that workload.
“The thing is with the burn out of staff, because they are with offenders from 8-12 hours or even 16 hours a day and it just wears on you,” said Lt. Steede. “We are asked to do a lot of different jobs. We are also dealing with mentally ill which brings another problem to the equation sometimes. We are also dealing with people who are highly intoxicated, coming off of drugs, alcohol and other things.”
This training continues to increase the professionalism in the field of corrections, while also increasing the production of quality corrections officers for the U.P.