NEVADA, Iowa — At the Story County Sheriff’s Department this week, they’re thinking of those working at the Anamosa Penitentiary.
“I would start out by offering our heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends, and staff members of the two that were killed earlier this week in Anamosa,” said Nicholas Lennie, Chief Deputy at the Story County Sheriff’s Office. “Anytime we lose anybody in this profession, we also suffer as a big family would, so we’re all mourning and suffering the loss and certainly want to give out our sympathies on that.”
The Anamosa incident also is a reminder to all who deal with incarcerated individuals, in any setting.
“First of all complacency is the greatest threat that we have, when we let our guard down but any time you’re transporting inmates, there’s a potential for tremendous danger,” said Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald. “You don’t know when the inmate is going to try to make the move, and you just got to be prepared at all times.”
At the jail John Asmussen is the Story County Jail Commander who leads staff training.
“When they first start we spend on interpersonal communication as well as inmate’s con-game as we call it, and basically interacting, learning things that we use as we interact with inmates,” said Asmussen. He added some inmates work near knives helping in their kitchen. “When a knife is being used it’s actually tethered to a table that way it can’t be taken away, I couldn’t grab it and go after you it’s actually fixed to that table.”
“We hire the best people we can, we bring them in we train them to do the job, and then we put them on the job under others so they can have a peer review,” said Sheriff Fitzgerald. “With the schedules we have will have one day monthly where the officers will do nothing but training for their entire eight hours, jail will train on jail issues, patrol trains on patrol issues.”