The Grayson County Detention Center was given the honor of hosting this year’s Special Response Team training from June 11 to 15, with detention center and justice center employees from a number of surrounding counties attending.
Bo Thorpe, of GCDC, said of the event, “every year, corrections professionals from across the state gather in one spot to subject themselves to a week of tear gas, pepper spray and electric shocks to serve their facility as a member of a Special Response Team.”
These teams are called in to handle special situations where traditional corrections methods may not be effective. The members of these teams must be certified in the use of a variety of non-lethal compliance tools including OC pepper spray, tasers and pepperball launchers.
According to Thorpe, most SRT teams, including the one here in Grayson County, are comprised of volunteer members who train monthly to “intercede in situations outside the normal operations of their facility.”
Such situations might include controlling riots, conducting high-risk cell extractions, or performing mass contraband searches.
Trainees underwent a battery of realistic exercises - including being pepper-sprayed and then making their way through obstacles - in order to better prepare themselves for emergency situations in their day to day jobs.
Scottie Cantway, Facilities Supervisor at Grayson County Justice Center, underwent the training and wrote in a subsequent letter to the Division of Corrections Training in Frankfort, “I am convinced that proper training not only saves lives, but allows everyone to make better decisions in stressful situations.”