MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - An elite team of personnel from the Mercer County Correction Center recently completed an intensive 4-day program in tactical training for Correction Officers and were recertified as members of the Correctional Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

The philosophy of this program is to manage potential situations by avoiding confrontation and by use of force de-escalation techniques. The CERT training was performed by CERT Master Instructors from the Correction Center, who themselves underwent rigorous training last year. Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes endorses the intensive program’s “train the trainer” approach, where County Correction staff certified as Master Instructors impart their knowledge to future teams of officers through in-house training, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

The Mercer County Correction Center is located in Hopewell Township and houses approximately 800 inmates on any given day. Correction Officers maintain order within the institution and enforce rules and regulations. To help ensure that inmates are orderly and obey rules, Correction Officers monitor the activities and supervise the work assignments of inmates. Sometimes, officers must search inmates and their living quarters for contraband like weapons or drugs, settle disputes between inmates, and enforce discipline. Officers also escort prisoners between the institution and courtrooms, medical facilities, and other destinations.

Training took place at the Mercer County Correction Center firing range, the Mercer County Police Academy, located at Mercer County Community College, and at the Dempster Fire Training Academy. Hughes added that Corrections’ staff greatly benefited from the shared services arrangements that County has with all its entities, adding to the breadth of experiences for the officers.

Correction Officers who received CERT training are: Sgt. Saul Walker, Sgt. Samuel Tucker, Officer Ricky McLean, Officer Shawn Davis, Officer Donald Ryland, Officer Juan Del Castillo, Officer Thomas Wilke, Officer Robin Price, Officer Curtis Diaz, Officer Michael Urbano, Officer Joseph Phillips, Officer Chris Klosinski and Officer Coleman Williams.

CERT Master Instructors who conducted the training are Lt. Eric L. Boné, Lt. Michael Gorski, Lt. Carlton Gittens, Sgt. Shawn Palmer, Sgt. Scott Moon, Sgt. Michael Kownacki, Sgt. Timothy Friel, Sgt. Jippy Creighton, Sgt. George Mizsak, Officer Robert Walter, Officer Brian Waters, Officer Russell Morgan and Officer Alex Trojakowski.