Rapid Reponse Training Brings Over 200 Correctional Officers Tog - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Rapid Response Training Brings Over 200 Correctional Officers Together From Across Northwest Florida

Posted: Updated:

What happens when a riot breaks out at a prison? The Florida Department of Corrections has Rapid Response teams to respond. Friday, rapid response teams from 18 different institutions from across Northwest Florida were in Holmes county for their annual team training.

"It's very likely these teams could act as one unit," says Ricky Dixon, Region I Director with the Florida Department of Corrections. "Depending on the size of the issue in a prison, we determine the number of teams that we activate."

Officers practiced different commands and formations and simulated different scenarios that could happen in a state prison. In all of Friday's scenarios, correctional officers practiced the use of less-lethal force. Instead of bullets coming from their weapons, it was special impact-munition.

Holmes Correctional Institution officer Chad Dunn says, "Everyone trains differently, some better, some worse, and you know we feed off each other and they might have better ideas than we do."

Teams went to various stations where different scenarios were staged. One station specifically focused on physical fitness. Captain Scott May with the Northwest Florida Reception Center, says it's composed of an obstacle course and half mile run."

"It helps them to become more physically fit and perform the duties of their squad," says Warden Sam Culpepper of the Apalachee Correctional Institution.

The individual Rapid Response teams train monthly at their institutions. To be on the team, officers must try out and meet set standards.

More than 200 officers from 18 correctional institutions across Northwest Florida participated in the training on Friday.