WORCESTER — A resident of Leominster and a resident of Fitchburg are among the 12 graduates of the Sheriff’s Office’s 59th Basic Recruit Training Academy.
The Correctional Officers Oath was administered to the class on Friday, May 26 at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility. In there class were Officer Julio Inostroza, a resident of Leominster, and Officer Mariangely Rivera-Ortiz, a resident of Fitchburg.
In a press release, the Sheriff’s Office said it has remained committed to hiring a diverse workforce to better meet the needs of the population it serves. The graduates of B.R.T.A. #59 are a well-rounded group of recruits. The newly sworn-in corrections officers represent 10 towns across Massachusetts and one-fourth of the recruits are veterans or reservists.
The Sheriff’s Office Academy is a 12-week paid program that consists of both classroom and hands-on instruction in which recruits are taught how to handle and maintain the care, custody, and control of inmates incarcerated at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction. Important topics such as de-escalation, duty to intervene, fire safety, defensive tactics, first responder training, suicide prevention, mental health, and substance abuse are covered in the classroom. Hands-on training consists of physical fitness, CPR/first responder, firearms, skid school, and many other scenario-based exercises.
“These men and women have just completed 12 weeks of rigorous training and are now among the best and brightest in corrections today,” Sheriff Lew Evangelidis said. “This class has demonstrated great strength and resolve as they have navigated the academy. They are the next generation of corrections officers that will continue our mission to serve, protect, and create a better, safer community for all.”
Since taking office, Evangelidis has made significant changes to the hiring standards to professionalize the department. All correctional officer applicants must have, at minimum, an associate degree, two years of military service, or two years of relevant work experience. They must also pass a written exam, physical fitness test, background check, and psychological screening test. Evangelidis has also implemented a policy that prohibits the submission of letters of recommendation from politicians and gives preference to hiring those who have served our country.