Units of the
Indiana Army and Air National Guards have been deployed to Department of
Correction (DOC) facilities to assist with exterior security operations, as
correctional officers across the state are sickened by COVID-19, DOC
announced on Thursday.
“This allowed for
the reassignment of regular DOC staff to duties inside correctional
facilities,” DOC said.
To prepare Guard
units for their deployments, the DOC Training Division conducted two-day
training sessions at Purdue Northwest University’s Westville campus, as well
as at the Correctional Training Institute at New Castle.
“All aspects of the
training were designed to provide operational awareness during temporary
assignments at select DOC correctional facilities,” DOC said. “Some points
of training included defensive tactics, search practices, radio etiquette,
use of restraints, recognizing criminal manipulation, and basic security
principles. Once trained, the soldiers and airmen were able to assist with
exterior perimenter safety patrols and other administrative duties.”
Guard units have
been deployed at the Westville and Pendleton DOC facilities in support of
exterior security operations and at the Plainfield facility, where they are
filling commissary orders.
“This joint agency
cooperation helps ensure the safety and security of all of our staff and
offenders,” DOC Deputy Commissioner of Operations Jim Basinger said. “The
Indiana Army and Air National Guard have been an incredible ally during the
COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate their service to the Indiana Department of
Correction, the State of Indiana, and their country.”