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Detention officers receive specialized training

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The Bladen County Training Center at White Lake has been a hub of activity this week as a group of Bladen County Detention Officers have undergone specialized training.

Sgt. Gary Turlington with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Specialized Training Division, said, “In an effort to more efficiently serve the citizens of our county and to enhance officer safety by having more deputies afield, a new program was initiated by Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker. A select group of Certified Detention Officers from the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office has undergone an intensive training program this week to lessen the frequency of having deputies from the Uniformed Patrol Division escort and/or transport detainees to locations and appointments required by the courts and other entities. This is the first program of it’s kind in the region.”

This program will afford more uniformed deputies to be in the field to respond to calls for service in a more timely manner since they will not be engaged in as many detainee escort/transport assignments. There is a significant
shortage of deputies here in Bladen County and there is no available funding to hire more, according to Sgt. Turlington.

“With that in mind, Sheriff McVicker directed the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Specialized Training Division to engage the selected Detention Officers in a 62 hour intensive training program to prepare them to undertake the deputy’s escort/transport assignments,” said Sgt. Turlington.

The training consisted of detainee transport, less than lethal weapons, and defensive firearms.  The training and course delivery was assisted by logistical support from Bladen Community College and instructional assistance was provided by Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Major Larry Guyton and Captain David Shaw.

“With Bladen County being the 4th largest county in the state with 887 square miles of land and water, every minute counts when there is a call for service,” said Sgt. Turlington.