|Yes, Dan Keen really is that big!|
Q) Have physical standards been relaxed for for corrections officers? - The physical requirements have not been relaxed. They have been modified to simulate what an officer may face on a daily basis within the jail.
Q) Is there a plan to persuade corrections officers to agree to 12-hour shifts? - Looking at any schedule change, the current schedule has built-in overtime which provides officers every other weekend off, regardless of overtime. The union and the Administration are scheduled to meet with a Mediator in the near future to discuss schedules.
Q) Can you tell me when approximately you expect to be at full strength? - I am anticipating another academy class by the end of September. This class should place us in a position to continue to operate the facility more efficiently.
Q) Are there rolling lockdowns, (i.e. staggered lockdowns of portions of the jail)? - Due to operational needs, it is possible to have rolling lockdowns in the jail setting. We have lockdowns for many reasons: searches, fights, mass movements, or even at minimum staffing to reduce overtime due to staffing and the schedule of the officers having every other weekend off.
Q) Was Sunday's incident related to a lockdown? - No. An inmate became upset with staff as a result of an informal misconduct warning, which led this individual to become combative and throw hot water on an officer. This situation is still under review/investigation.
A year ago, these questions would have gone unanswered. Yesterday, they were answered almost immediately. That is an encouraging sign of transparency in the John Brown Administration.
Updated 12:00 pm: Training Time For Corrections Officers Reduced by 65%
Improvements in hiring practices have reduced the time it takes to train a new Corrections Officers from approximately twenty-five to eight weeks. Keen called it a "team effort" invoving both the Administration and corrections officers. "The goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes to hire new qualified Correction Officers and increase yearly the number of new Correction Officers Academies," he explained.
Keen lauded changes to physical agility testing, claiming they are more in line with more in line with potential real-life scenarios experienced by Correction Officers. These changes include: sprints up and down stairs, maneuvering through obstacles, carrying and holding weight over 100 lbs. A one year waiting period for those who fail the test has been removed. Applicants are able to retest during testing periods.
In the most recent testing period, 47 of 129 129 applicants passed the physical agility test and advanced to the final interview round. . The Department of Corrections expects to successfully complete three new classes in 2015 with the final class anticipated to enroll up to 27 new cadets.