November 16, 2012
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Bonifay, Fla.- Today the Florida Department of Corrections’ Rapid Response Team (RRT) held their annual training exercise at the Holmes County Fairgrounds in Bonifay. Activities started at 6:20 a.m. CST and ended with closing ceremonies and awards 1:30 p.m. CST. A total of 18 prisons represented Region I, which covers the area from Pensacola to Perry, and a small portion of Region II. The training included munitions, platoon and squad formations, riot/baton techniques and a physical fitness competition.
“These exercises are crucial in our mission to provide ongoing inmate, staff and public safety,” said Deputy Secretary Mike Crews. “Here, staff learns to work closely together and strengthen their sense of team.”
Rapid Response Teams are the Department’s first responders to incidents and disturbances on prison grounds. RRT members train eight hours each month in addition to this exercise.
This year’s exercise had approximately 18 RRT squads consisting of 14 members each with a total of 252 officers participating. The event provides advanced training to RRT members which prepare them for a real situation if called upon. It allows the Institutional, Regional and Central Office leadership team to evaluate the proficiency and the quality of training that is being provided to the RRT’s.
Communities benefit from the exercise, as officers and staff who participate enhance the skills and procedures used in possible crisis situations at their local facility, and are prepared to handle any event that may have an impact on public safety.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 150,000 offenders in the community.