Mandatory training for some 140 Rutherford County Adult Detention deputies will be conducted in-house next fiscal year, saving travel money and time away from the facility, the training coordinator said.
New correctional deputies must undergo a minimum of 40 hours basic training from the Tennessee Corrections Institute, said detention training coordinator Sgt. David Hutsell. After the first year, deputies must still undergo 40 hours of training, 16 hours from TCI and 24 hours from their own sheriff’s office.
Detention Commander Guy Goff and Hutsell asked TCI’s Board of Control for approval to conduct in-house training for both the basic class and the 16 hours annually. TCI approved the request this month for RCADC to conduct in-house training beginning the next fiscal year. Rutherford County is among only eight counties statewide approved to conduct in-house training.
Lt. Chris Deal said the in-house training will reduce fuel costs and staff shortages for deputies to travel to other counties for TCI training.
Hutsell said it will give him more flexibility in training and scheduling.
“The key is to make sure the jail is staffed,” Hutsell said.
Sheriff Robert F. Arnold said he proposed the idea of in-house training in October because deputies were traveling to Gallatin, Cookeville, Sparta, Waverly and Crossville to take the in-service classes.
“It’s great to see this concept come to fruition,” Arnold said. “It shows how hard we work on our training program and how respected our employees are statewide. Now we will be able to have in-house training and extend the training to work center employees.”
Under the new proposal, sheriff’s field training officers must complete the TCI Train the Trainer course and become certified to teach the TCI minimum jail standards course before teaching the 40-hour basic training TCI curriculum for new officers. The staff will teach other employees 16 hours of TCI annual training supplemented by other classes.
The adult detention center goes beyond the minimum training and requires new hires to complete four weeks of classroom training including the TCI basic class, four weeks of on-the-job training and two weeks of observation.
“What the classes are going to do is what is expected out of deputies when dealing with inmates,” Hutsell said. “We will make sure they understand how to conduct themselves.”
Other classes include legal rights and responsibilities in a correctional environment; concepts, attitudes and interpersonal communications; security principles; classification of inmates; contraband control; litigation; standard operating procedures; medical and mental health issues of inmates; the culture of diversity; inmate supervision; fire safety; equipment control; professional rescuer; chemical weapons and defensive tactics; games inmates play; hostage survival/negotiations; written communications; use of force; liability; basic computer skills and basic Spanish.
Supervisors’ classes include classification of inmates, effective supervisor, the facility training officer program and an employee drug-free workplace.
Hutsell expects the training curriculum to expand as the detention center seeks accreditation from the American Correctional Association.
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