MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Roughly 1,000 law enforcement officials from as far away as California, Florida, Germany and several Caribbean nations are improving their skills during the 18th annual Mock Prison Riot at the former West Virginia Penitentiary.
“If we had to drive for 40 hours, we would be here. This is phenomenal team training,” said sheriff’s Capt. Scott Brock of Lee County, Fla. “This tests your upper body and lower body, and helps you develop physical endurance.”
Lee County Deputy Brandon Pannone completed an obstacle course Monday. After catching his breath, he described the course as tough.
“Each obstacle gets harder and harder as you go along. The hardest part for me is the horizontal rope,” he said. “This is valuable experience.”
The state Division of Corrections partners with the West Virginia Corrections Training Foundation, a non-profit group, to oversee the event that has taken place at the prison every spring since 1997. The prison closed in 1995.
“We are very excited about this year’s event. For the first time ever, we are offering a lecture series during the event, and we are really looking forward to meeting all the first-time attendees with the Caribbean delegation,” said Division of Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein. “There is information out there on a variety of topics that could really benefit our attendees without them having to spend an entire day in the field or in the classroom. Our new series offers 90-minute lectures on topics such as cellphones in prisons, how to manage hostage situations and set up a protocol, and how to manage stress on the job.”
Rubenstein said the division worked with the U.S. Department of State to accommodate a group of practitioners from the Caribbean…