Wake Tech Coordinates Mock Prison Escape
Correctional Officers Practice Search and Tracking Techniques
LILLINGTON, N.C. (March 15, 2010) - Five escaped inmates, all convicted felons, on the run in Harnett County: That was the scenario for a training exercise for the N.C. Department of Correction last week. Wake Technical Community College coordinated the exercise for about 50 members of the DOC's Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT).
The 24-hour exercise started at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday at Raven Rock State Park in Lillington. Five ROTC students from Campbell University played the role of the escapees. Wearing white armbands for identification, they were given a one-hour head start into the woods. After receiving instructions from Wake Tech trainers and setting up a mock command post, Correctional officers divided into squads and ventured into the woods to attempt their capture. Canine handlers used bloodhounds to help them track the escapees' scent.
The goal of the exercise was to prepare officers for a live prison break, allowing them to practice command and control techniques, search and tracking devices, and communications. The park was closed to the public during the exercise, and no live ammunitions were used.
"Although real prison escapes are rare, this training is vital in preparing Correctional officers for a worst-case scenario," says Anthony Caison, Dean of Wake Tech's Public Safety Training Division. "Wake Tech has excellent training equipment and instructors who are up on the latest trends and techniques in keeping the community safe."
Wake Tech trains about 15,000 law enforcement personnel each year, including local police departments, the Wake County Sheriff's Office, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the N.C. Department of Correction.