JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Craighead County Sheriff's Office is making sure their jailers are prepared to defend themselves against inmates if necessary.
Just last week, Region 8 News received surveillance video of a Craighead County Detention officer being injured by an inmate.
Unfortunately, those attacks seem to be more common lately.
Detention center employees have 8 hours of in-service every month for training.
"It's on different topics," said Deputy Randy Sharp, the training coordinator. "Anything from juvenile law, to first aid, to defensive tactics, to criminal law. We review policy and everything else."
Monday, their class covered defensive tactics.
Those skills include grappling and other hand-to-hand defense.
Sharp said fighting, though, is not the only thing the jailers learned at the training.
It's actually just a small part of it.
"When we say DT, it's just an umbrella that's covering a bunch of things," Sharp said. "So, when we talk about the use of force, we talk about deployment, we talk about their observation skills, how they learn to read body language and use people's attitudes, how they de-escalate, how they go from there, how they try to avoid using force. Force is ultimately their last objective."
Sharp said the jailers' biggest tool is their communication.
They are taught to talk their way through a situation, if at all possible, to protect both themselves and other inmates.
"They learn to read body language, posturing, things like that," Sharp said. "And then how to perform a lateral shift to put themselves in a position of advantage to de-escalate things."
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