Jail serves as tactical training ground for corrections officers
Flagler jail serves as tactical demonstration site
By Julie Murphy
BUNNELL — “I said back up.”
“Not going to happen.”
A giant schnauzer named Max whines at the side of his handler, Capt. Joseph Garcia, an animal trainer from the U.S. Corrections Special Operations Group, who is trying to coax an “inmate” — a corrections officer undergoing training — out of his cell Wednesday during a cell extraction exercise at the Flagler County Inmate Facility.
“How come you don't want to come out?” Garcia barked at the inmate before issuing orders to Max in a mix of Czech and German languages.
Max, the only certified corrections special operations K-9 in the U.S. according to Garcia, rushed in when ordered, grabbed the inmate by one arm and took him to the ground. As quickly as it started, it stopped. Garcia called off the dog, which laid down beside the inmate to await further orders.
“Get up nice and slow,” Garcia told the inmate. “Move forward slowly. Put your arms up.”
Besides 15 corrections officers from Flagler County, an additional 18 officers from St. Johns, Clay, Alachua, Indian River and Palm Beach counties have spent the better part of two weeks undergoing training in the latest techniques and procedures for cell extractions and riot control within a correctional facility, said Flagler County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Bob Weber.
Sheriff Jim Manfre said the training makes conditions at the jail safer for both inmates and corrections deputies, the importance of which isn't diminished because its bed space maxes out in the 130s.
- Corrections Training