• Corrections personnel compete for area title

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Personnel from five area correctional facilities — the U.S. Penitentiary-Leavenworth, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, the Lansing Correctional Facility and CoreCivic’s Leavenworth Detention Center — competed on Fort Leavenworth June 11-15 in the 2018 Community Prison Challenge in hopes of taking home the trophy and building esprit de corps among their peers.
    Corrections personnel competed in events including softball, bench press, a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle pull, volleyball, a trap and skeet shoot, basketball, golf, bowling, relay and distance runs, cornhole and tug-of-war culminating in the USP taking home the prize.
    “It’s an honor to hold this title,” said Jacob Dyer, USP executive assistant. “I know our staff have worked extremely hard for this. They’ve put it all on the line and it paid off today with this win and it does mean a lot to the institution.”
    This was the second consecutive year for the event, but 1st Lt. Conor Kane, planning and operations assistant, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 15th Military Police Brigade, said the event dates back several years.
    “It used to be an annual competition between facilities in the Leavenworth area but stopped in the early 2000s,” he said. “However, it was revived last year and looks to be a yearly occurrence from now on.”
    It was restarted by the USP, Kane said.
    “They did so because it was a unique event due to all the various types of facilities involved and they missed competing,” he said.
    Because the USDB was the 2017 champions, USDB personnel hosted and organized the 2018 events. Added events included bowling, trap and skeet, the relays and the LMTV pull.
    “Our goal was to add some military flair to the competition and use one of the military vehicles we possess instead of doing last year’s bus pull,” Kane said.
    Each event was ranked first, second, third, fourth or fifth, awarding five points, four points, three points, two points and one point respectively. In the end, USP won with 47 points, USDB came in second with 43 points, JRCF came in third with 36 points, LCF came in fourth with 33 points and CCA came in fifth with 21 points.
    Though it was a competition, facility leaders said that winning wasn’t what was most important.
    “It’s not about winning,” said Col. Dawn Hilton, 15th Military Police Brigade commander and USDB commandant. “It’s about coming together for a week and really getting to know our brothers and sisters in the profession. It’s about how we did it and how we worked together.”
    Dyer said it’s about creating a bond.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We have the same mission whether it’s a federal, military, state or private facility. We’re all on the same team,” he said. “We think it’s good to share this week, to grow a bond. We’ve built a lot of friendships and relationships here.”
    First Sgt. Tabitha Hernandez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USDB, said all of the facilities can relate to one another.
    “It’s been a great week building camaraderie with the local facilities as well as within our brigade,” Hernandez said. “We can relate to each other with the long work hours and shift work and we can decompress together. We can really relate to what they experience and go through.”
    When the relationships are already there, it creates a better environment when problems arise, Hilton said.
    “The better you know each other, when there’s help needed, you’ll know who it is you’re helping and you can share those stories so you don’t repeat other facilities’ mistakes,” she said. “It’s just for professionalism, camaraderie and it just makes us better overall as correctional professionals.”
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