Mass. sheriff swears in new class of academy-trained correctional officers
Nearly half of the class of new COs are military veterans or reservists and completed "12 weeks of rigorous training"
By Shane Rhodes
Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg, Mass.
WORCESTER, Mass. — Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis recently administered the Correctional Officers Oath to graduating recruits of the Sheriff's Office's 58th Basic Recruit Training Academy at Anna Maria College.
On Friday, Dec. 2, 20 officers graduated from the BRTA program, according to a recent press release from the Sheriff's Office. Among those 20 were Fitchburg residents Jahmall Jones and Clauther-fils Vincent, as well as Westminster resident Curtis Hall.
Evangelidis congratulated the graduates and said they ranked "among the best and brightest in corrections today."
"Our new officers have just completed 12 weeks of rigorous training and are now among the best and brightest in corrections today," Evangelidis said in the press release. "Each has demonstrated great strength and resolve, as they have navigated the academy, and will now continue our mission to serve, protect, and create a better, more safe community for all."
The 12-week program consists of both classroom and hands-on instruction in which recruits are taught how to handle and maintain the care, custody and control of inmates incarcerated at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction. Topics such as de-escalation, duty to intervene, fire safety, defensive tactics, first responder training, suicide prevention, mental health and substance abuse are covered in the classroom, while hands-on training consists of physical fitness, CPR, firearms, skid school and many other scenario-based exercises.
The Sheriff's Office has remained committed to hiring a diverse workforce to better meet the needs of the population they serve, according to the press release. The newly sworn-in corrections officers represent 12 towns in Massachusetts and 1 in Connecticut, while nearly 50% of the class is composed of veterans or reservists; there are at least four different languages spoken by various members of the graduating class as well.
Similarly, Evangelidis has made "significant changes" to hiring standards to "professionalize the department." All correctional officer applicants must have, at minimum, an associate degree, two years of military service or two years of relevant work experience and must also pass a written exam, physical fitness test, background check and psychological screening test.
Evangelidis has also implemented a policy that prohibits the submission of letters of recommendation from politicians and gives preference to hiring those who have served our country.
(c)2022 Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg, Mass.
Visit Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg, Mass. at https://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.