MONDAY, JULY 1, 2019
The Jackson County Corrections Department welcomed 11 new officers during a graduation ceremony for Corrections Academy’s 129th class.
“This is a great Academy class and we are excited,” Corrections Director Diana Turner claimed. “The jail is getting better and better all of the time and you guys are a product of that. A better screening process, better recruiting, better staff retention, better leadership and better management. This is what we get when we do things right. This is the best class we have had so far and I’m really, really proud of you today. This is fantastic.”
Turner pointed out that most of the class either had friends or family who worked at the jail or had previously worked at the jail and have returned.
“That says that we are getting it done. People are coming back to the Detention Center because they see that we are making progress. That’s exciting because you know what the job is and you came anyway,” she said.
Fifth District Legislator Jeannie Lauer told graduates they have a lot of responsibility, but assured them that they are going to do well.
“You have already shown by accomplishing the academy and being successful that you will do well. It really speaks to your heart and your soul about trying to make things better. Certainly for our inmates but also for our citizens and the county,” she said.
Lauer also warned of tough days ahead but they have a support system in their colleagues and director. “Never give up you have not reached your full potential yet. There is so much more to be gained. As a legislator for the county it means the world to me and to my colleagues that you would take this on and pledge to do the right thing at the right time with the right people.”
Legislator Jalen Anderson, 1st District At-Large, said he was inspired by the graduates and their willingness to serve their community.
“My hat is off to you because we have to show those who are at the worst point in their lives that we still care, and that we hold ourselves to a higher standard,” he said. “I just want to make this promise to you and that is, we are here for you. We want to help you and to make sure that you are safe. Make sure that you have good health care, good benefits and good wages as we move forward.”
“I am proud to see not only diversity but youth that are coming along. All of you that are bringing a new aspect of what this generation can do and to those who have been here before, learning again and teaching people about what we have to do in the future,” Anderson said.
County Executive Frank White, Jr., expressed his appreciation of the leadership at the Sheriff’s Office as well as the Corrections Department and the experienced staff of the Detention Center. “With the leadership you have now and the leadership of the experienced staff you can go as far as you want to go because you are going to have the support that you need to get it done.”
“In baseball we always picked each other up when one guy failed,” he said. “You are in the same boat you have to rely on each other and you are going to have to pick each other up at times but the main thing is you have to have a passion for what you are doing. You have got to want to go to work every day but you want to go to work with a clear mind and a lot of energy.”
White said, “The staff I have been around at the Corrections Department all of these years, I have been proud of all of them. I have been proud of the training and have been proud of each of the graduates and am proud of you all today for the step that you are taking.”
“As we are meeting to go forward on a new jail facility we still have to maintain this one in first class condition. We don’t want you to think that we are going to take some shortcuts and you will be inconvenienced in any way, you won’t. This will still be kept in a first class manor and we will still be making capital improvements there so you will feel comfortable and secure when you come to work,” he said.
Deputy Raashid Brown represented Sheriff Darryl Forté during the ceremony.
“It has been said of law enforcement that police officers and deputy sheriffs are the most valuable asset to law enforcement. I beg to differ,” he said. “On January first when the Sheriff’s Office took over inmate control of the detention center I value what you guys do so much more. Particularly because as a law enforcement officer, we do a traffic stop, we go on a service call and things of that nature. We take the suspect or the person that has committed an offense and transport them to the facility. That is the last thing we do until we go to court. You ladies, you gentlemen have to encounter these individuals every day. You are in the facility with them every day. So with that being said I just want to say from the Sheriff’s Office stand point, how much we appreciate and value the work that you guys do. Not only are you valuable you are necessary to our criminal justice system.”