Here’s this weeks Get to Know Your PSO on our Inner Perimeter Security team:
You may have wondered what the PSO does if there is an emergency within the jail. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office has several specialty teams that are called upon in a crisis. One of those teams is the Detention Center’s Inner Perimeter Security Unit (IPS). They act as a force multiplier for the Housing Unit in order to regain control of the inmates.
Inner Perimeter Security is comprised of 2 squads and 10 members. They respond to situations, such as a barricade, disruptive inmates and cell searches. They assist the deputy in that unit if there is a fight or call for assistance. With around 1,600 inmates in the facility this can occur often.
“I think it’s a control factor,” stated Lieutenant James Rollston. “You have a facility of roughly 1,600 inmates. Not all of them are murderers. Not all of them are here for heinous crimes, but it’s having some control of the inmate population and creating safety for the staff, safety for the inmates as well because we are responsible for their well being after all.”
Inner Perimeter Security is called upon because they have more uses of force. They always assure that the deputy has given the inmate lawful orders and commands before assisting on the scene. The team tries to gain control of the situation through verbal communication and only use force when necessary.
“We’re not going there to have a debate with the inmate, but we’re also not going down there to ruff anybody up,” said Lieutenant Rollston. “All we’re trying to do is gain compliance and we use minimal amount of force necessary. If that’s a verbal command and they comply, ultimately that’s what we want.”
The members of IPS initially train for a month and then again for 2 weeks in August. To stay up to date on new information and tactics they practice every Wednesday. During this training they learn how to use interpersonal skills, to speak with the inmate population, use certain weapons, and tactics. They also go through CIT training for the inmates who have mental health issues.
According to Lieutenant Rollston using their interpersonal skills and knowing that there is backup only seconds away brings peace to mind. Members of IPS have formed a close bond because they work in a highly intense and at times dangerous environment. They rely on each other to keep everyone safe.
“I’m going on my 19th year and I’ve been blessed,” revealed Lieutenant Rollston. “I’ve had the privilege of working with some really, really good people and you develop those bonds and that friendships cause you’re here and you work with these people.”
It is a comfort for the members of the jail because IPS is a great support system!
“The show of force de-escalades it,” explained Lieutenant Rollston. “And then for the public knowing that we are well trained, we are professional in our tactics and our behavior and we’re treating them with respect because they are for the most part pre-trial detainees.”
A majority of the inmates do not cause problems; however, for the few that do IPS has to work fast to subdue the conflict. They do this to prevent inmates from escaping and to keep everyone safe.
“The job is serious itself, but I think we have a good set of guys!” stated Lieutenant Rollston. “We laugh a lot; we bust each other’s chops a lot so there’s a lot of comradery. It’s like a family! It’s just every day that we’re in there; we’re laughing at one point.”