Home Life Community Sheriff’s CERT places seventh overall in worldwide event

Sheriff’s CERT places seventh overall in worldwide event

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The Bossier Sheriff’s CERT team returned earlier this week from mock prison riot competition in Moundsville, WV, April 29-30.

The Mock Prison Riot is a World-Wide Training Event and Skills Competition hosted by West Virginia DOC and the West Virginia Corrections Training Foundation. There were 33 teams from across the United States and nine other countries, including Haiti, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Guatemala, Niger, Mali, and Morocco.  

Team members for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office included Sgt. Michele Jester (CERT commander) and Deputies Connor McLaughlin, Blake Kennedy, Joe Normand, Dillion Lopez, Jonathan Pershon, Dominic Linton and Daniel Taylor.

The Bossier team placed 7th in the overall 5-member team event competition. These events test an officer’s strength and skills through an obstacle course, hostage rescue scenario, a zero-visibility event (no light, in a basement), search and clear mission, and a shooting event.

Bossier Sheriff’s CERT team before leaving this week for a mock prison riot competition in Moundsville, West Virginia. (courtesy Bossier Sheriff’s Office)

The events included:

1- Obstacle course –  This is an endurance course with 17 obstacles to overcome.

2- Visibility zero – This is a course run completely in darkness, other than flashlights on the person. The objective was to breach doors, clear rooms, rescue hostages and remove threats.

3- Search and clear – This is a complicated multi-story building event. It begins in a SWAT van, then the team rushes to a designated area to fire two 40-mm rounds into a standard window, then on to a hostage search and rescue operation. Challenges included crawling through a small tunnel and clearing the entire structure.

4- Open air hostage rescue – This is an event to simulate a prison riot and hostile takeover of a prison facility. It included an initiation by sniper fire on threat targets. After sniper fire came threat take-out, returning hostiles to cells, and rescuing hostages, taking them to a safe area.

5- Lumberjack (shooting) competition- This event was shooting at a 12-inch painted area on a two-by-four with the objective of cutting it in two with duty-issued pistols.

Deputy Daniel Taylor came in fourth place out of 30 competitors in the “Iron Operator” individual event, which is a body weight and weightlifting competition.

“We are proud of the outstanding performance by our team,” said Whittington. “The team’s commitment to training and this intense competition allows our deputies to hone their skills to ensure public safety in our Corrections facilities.”