Bonifay- One might would call it an 'Correction's Officers Olympics, because Fridays Region One Rapid Response Team Training Competition looked about like an Olympic sport. For years the event has been taking place at the Bonifay fairgrounds.
"Unfortunately we manage a population that you can't always predict what the outcomes are going to be" explained Colonel Scott Duvall of Northwest Florida Reception Center. "But, what's fortunate with training events like this, it certainly gives an opportunity to train staff so that when an event does happen we can keep the public safe."
Army craws, monkey bars, baton techniques and shotguns- all were a part of the half day event. But, the men and women didn't just show up for the fun of it.
"We give the squads and platoons an opportunity to come here and showcase what they do all year. They train for this all year" Region One Regional Director, Ricky Dixon told us.
Duvall also added, "We have the opportunity to streamline our training and make sure our staff are getting the right training. But, it also gives us the chance to evaluate our staff as we watch them to see their proficiency level- to see if we need to tweak our training. Also, it just reinforces us to keep doing the things we know are right."
More than just physical strength, participants told us Friday's event was also about teamwork and leadership.
"We could have a scenario where more than one platoon is called, so it gives them an opportunity to get to know each other, work together, and assist each other as needed if ever called upon" Dixon said.
All in all, Duvall told us the day was full of fun times and friendly competition, but it also served as functional training. "It really builds up a lot of competitiveness because we're challenging one institution to another, and that's a lot of competition right there."
In the past, the competition had only been held between state institutions. But this year, two private prisons were added: Black Water and Gadsden.