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Reality Training: Inmate beats Ga. CO with phone

What can you do to insure that your Cover Officer is paying proper attention to you and your safety?

It only took 13 seconds for an inmate to deliver a brutal beating to a Georgia corrections officer who momentarily turned her back to him while standing next to a set of pay phones.

Corrections Officer Pam NeSmith had her wrist sprained and was struck so hard in the back of the head that she needed staples. She had been in the middle of delivering mail to inmates when the inmate in question, shown in the video below, suddenly snaps and grabs NeSmith's hair, dragging her to the floor. Besides hitting her with his fists, he grabs the phone hanging from a nearby pay phone and begins to hit her with that as well.

Inmates eventually intercede to save NeSmith, while her coworkers were not monitoring the pod she was in. Her coworkers were immediately terminated for their lack of action.

Take a look at the video below, and then consider the questions we've posed.

  1.  Unfortunately, this premeditated assault looks a lot like the Knockout Game that has hit our streets where teens target unsuspecting persons for devastating sudden assaults.  What are your plans for avoiding such an assault in terms of remaining alert, being decisive, and having a preplanned practiced response, in mind?
  2. In dealing with the dangers inherent in interacting with inmates, why is it important not to depend totally on your Cover Officer to keep you safe?
  3. What can you do in terms of control of distance, relative positioning, hand positioning, and avoidance tactics to keep you safe from a sudden assault?
  4. What can you do to insure that your Cover Officer is paying proper attention to you and your safety?
  5. In the case of a close quarters sudden assault, what are you specific tactical options in terms of disengaging, stabilizing the inmates, and/or stopping the assault?
  6. How important is your Ethical Presence, your reputation, i.e. how you are reviewed by the inmate population, in keeping you safe and preventing, assisting you, ignoring, or assisting in the inmate who is physically assaulting you?

About the author

This series of columns takes recent situations in the news and uses video footage to start a discussion.


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