ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Guards in New Hanover County jail no longer wrangle unruly inmates with a by-any-means-necessary attitude. The Special Response Team handles any outburst with quick, precise moves that cause the least amount of damage to both guards and prisoners.
Now the team is sharing its skills with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office. Sgt. Michael Riddick's squad made itself at home in the practically new facility, as officers learned the basics of thinking, moving and communicating like SRT members.
"The way we communicate is the biggest barrier that most of the time we have problems with," said Riddick.
Thursday's exercise focused on cell extraction, when an inmate refuses to leave his assigned space in the jail. Before the trainees could pull anyone out, they learned the basic steps of operating as a unit.
"The power is in the step," said Onslow Sheriff Ed Brown. "The power is in the unity."
Brown said he's grateful to New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon for providing the training service for free.
"The massive number of hirings to get a facility like this up and running can be stressful," he said. "But having the help of Sheriff McMahon has made it easy."
The help will continue after Thursday's basic training exercises. New Hanover County's SRT members use less than lethal weapons, and the Onslow County officers will have to learn those too. Riddick said any new techniques or info should be shared with additional agencies, especially when officers are dealing with crowded jails.
"This is the most important thing in law enforcement," said Riddick. "Somebody's got to keep them."
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