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Brazos County Trains for the Worst

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

A prison riot is an unlikely threat to Brazos County Jails, but the potential is always there.

That's why in 1998 the Sheriff's Office formed the Detention Response Team.

The DRT takes care of high risk situations at the jail, and now they're training for the worst.

A rec yard riot is a reality the Brazos County Detention Response Team hopes to never face, but if they do, they'll be trained and ready.

"It's just a great training opportunity all the way around," says Lt. David Drosche.

Lt. Drosche and nine other members of the DRT are heading to the West Virginia State Penn for a second time, to learn techniques that could save lives at home.

"You never know exactly what's going to occur especially in a county jail. We're totally different from prison. You have to be ready for all different circumstances," says Lt. Drosche.

"We have to move high risk inmates. We have to respond to problems within the jail so we needed that type of team," says Sheriff Chris Kirk.

Sheriff Kirk says the DRT was formed to quell situations that could rapidly get out of hand.

But to keep the team effective, training is key.

In West Virginia, the officers respond to different riot scenarios, but they also learn more about new technology to help get the job done.

"It's very exciting. Not only do they get training opportunities. They get to observe other scenarios then we say we could use that technique in our jail or no it couldn't be used, it goes both ways," says Lt. Drosche.

The Detention Response Team chooses it's training scenarios so the situations are as realistic as possible.

"It's very difficult to say what we'd do if we didn't have the training because this training provides real actors that actually put on a good show and try to make these scenarios as real life as possible," says Lt. Drosche.

This year, the team will respond to a small rec yard riot and a dining hall disturbance...and although the jail doesn't anticipate problems of that degree, learning to react effectively may make all the difference during the real thing.

"A jail environment is different. We're protecting our community from some of these people. But we're also protecting our inmates and we want to react professionally and in a humane way," says Sheriff Kirk.


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