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Officers graduate from POST Corrections training

LAPLACE — The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office recently held its seventh Peace Officer Standards and Training for Corrections officers. Officers from the SJSO as well as Hammond Police Department participated in the 114-hour POST Corrections training and graduated in the department’s 2020-02 class May 27 during a ceremony at Patrol Headquarters in LaPlace.

Warden Gordon Jeffcoat commended the officers for completing this difficult course and offered some advice to be successful in their profession.

“You must be honest … hard working … loyal … and firm, fair and consistent in all of your duties,” Warden Jeffcoat said. “These traits will help you go a long way in your job and in your life.”

Graduates are Matthew Hendrix, Trent LaMartiniere, James Dinger, Waylon Overmier, Rolando Duran, Mark Duncan, Frederick Fletcher and Milton Harrison of the Hammond Police Department; and Jacob Melancon, Iriel Phillips, Treniae’ Varnado, Heather Leblanc, Brant Gossett and David Holden of the SJSO.

Assistant Warden Captain Geo Giovingo, the lead instructor, said he is especially proud of this class of graduates.

Current health concerns were not overlooked, Captain Giovingo said, and instructors and students participated in the class as responsibly as possible. All officers were required to take an initial COVID-19 test and daily screenings were conducted.

“What made this class unique was how we had to implement social distancing in a class-room setting,” Captain Giovingo said. “Temperature checks and sanitizing tables and chairs every day were just a couple of the things that we have had to do differently.”

“As a public safety professional, we are taught to adapt and overcome any obstacles or unforeseen circumstances that may arise,” Captain Giovingo said. “The students handled the changes well, making the best of the situation while pushing each other through it.”

Captain Giovingo said he appreciates the outstanding teachers who worked with students.

“I would like to thank all the instructors with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office for assisting with the class and making it a success,” Captain Giovingo said. “The students were amazed with the various instructors’ methods of teaching and are excited to utilize the skills and knowledge they’ve gained for their careers.”

While officers may work in Corrections without being a peace officer, the Corrections certification bestows a higher level of authority to carry out job duties.

Students had 114 of coursework including legal aspects, report writing, use of force, CPR/Stop the Bleed , chemical agent, defensive tactics, baton, shotgun, taser and basic jail guidelines.

Officer liability, inmate rights, transporting and escorting inmates, functions of a jail, principles of jail security, suicide prevention and booking, classification, and release procedures were among the topics discussed.

Instructors were Giovingo, lead instructor; Captains Blane Rome and Charles Wale, firearms and taser; Deputy Darren DeSalvo, defense tactics, baton; Lt. Jason Raborn, chemical agent and stop the bleed; and Lt. Denise Bertrand, CPR/first aid.