MICHIGAN CITY — Sixty men and women graduated last month from the Indiana Department of Correction’s Emergency Response Operation’s Basic Emergency Squad Academy for specialized training to take back to their assigned facilities.
Those assigned to the Indiana State Prison got to use that training right away.
“The Emergency Squad or E-Squad is a facility-based emergency team capable of handling a large scale incident/disturbance,” said IDOC spokeswoman Margaux Auxier. “The E-Squad’s primary mission is crowd control and escape.”
So when an inmate walked away from ISP on July 10, “The Indiana State Prison and the Department of Correction’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit, including E-Squad, was working with Indiana State Police, U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement to ensure his capture and return to custody,” she said.
The escapee – 39-year-old Travis Hornett of Waterloo, Indiana – was captured about 13 hours later after entering an abandoned home in Beverly Shores.
IDOC’s Emergency Response academy was held at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana, where the correctional officers’ training was designed to “return their facility back to normal operations when orderly running is interrupted by an incident,” Auxier said.
“Team members received a week of intensive training culminating in a scenario that tested their leadership skills and ability to act under emergency conditions.”
IDOC Commissioner Rob Carter congratulated the graduates.
“When the normal becomes unfamiliar and the orderly running of the facility is interrupted by an incident, the Indiana Department of Correction relies on the staff who have been properly trained to manage such incidents,” he said. “Their success, hard work, and dedication reflects great credit upon themselves and the department.”
The Emergency Operations division is currently seeking qualified candidates to join the IDOC’s Quick Response, Emergency Response, Canine, Situation Control, and Critical Incident Stress Management teams.
IDOC operates E-Squads at 11 correctional facilities around the state, including ISP and Westville Correctional Center, Auxier said.
“E-Squad is a voluntary duty that requires candidates to go through a selection process. It is open to any IDOC employee.”
Candidates must have a minimum of six months’ IDOC experience, submit an E-Squad application, pass a physical fitness test, undergo a board interview and be approved by their facility Warden prior to placement on E-Squad.
If selected, the prospective team member must attend the next available Division of Emergency Response Operations Basic E-Squad Academy. There are typically about 55 graduates per session, Auxier said.
Interested candidates should visit WorkForIndiana.IN.gov and apply for a correctional officer position. Current IDOC employees should contact their Custody Supervisor for more information.
—From staff reports
New E-Squad members
The following employees of the Indiana State Prison and Westville Correctional Center graduated from the 2019 E-Squad academy:
Dennis Koen - ISP E-Squad Field Commander
Daniel Pomeroy - WCC E-Squad Squad Leader
The following graduated from the 2019 Basic E-Squad Academy:
Buddy Reczek - ISP
Scott Batsel - ISP
Moises Lopez Jimenez - ISP
Devin Wolford - ISP
Takoda Wheeler - ISP
Trevor Spiegel - WCC
Jason Knocke - WCC
Elizabeth Johnson - WCC
Cody Cox - WCC
Christopher Cartagena - WCC