November 2013 Field Release
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department Corrections Bureau CHAT group is going strong after almost nine years. On September 29, 2004, the Corrections Hero Assistance Team or CHAT began with a group of volunteers to provide support to our military staff members and their families during deployments.
Since the inception of the group, it is estimated that approximately seventy-five members of our Corrections Bureau have been deployed and CHAT has offered their support as needed.
The majority of support was maintaining communications with the families and ensuring care packages were sent to our staff. CHAT has collaborated with many members of the community who have donated food, gifts, door prizes, and other items to this mission.
Major accomplishments throughout the years
- A "Wall of Heroes" contains photographs of deployed staff members, to show their presence at all briefings and to keep them in the thoughts and prayers of our staff
- Outings for families left behind
- Fund raisers for returning deployed units
- Providing restaurant gift cards for every deployed member for the two week break and also at the end of their tour
- Newsletters for family
- CARE packages to our deployed
- Birthday, anniversary and other special occasions greeting cards
- Email chain of support for families
- Display case in briefing room for staff to display mementos from their deployments
CHAT remains strong and continues to provide direct and indirect support to our brave men and women of the armed forces that protect this wonderful nation and way of life.
The Sheriff’s Department recently participated in a statewide scenario that incorporated several agencies, to include assistance from the National Guard. The scenario was based on a real world disaster, similar to what happened in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Power Down 2013 brings to the forefront what would happen in the event that a complete power outage occurs throughout the state. It forces agencies to look at the required resources to maintain emergency responsibilities within each agency’s jurisdiction.
Some of the crucial things to be considered in a situation like this are; gas stations would shut down, looting would become a reality, and our workforce would decrease by 30 to 50 percent due to family needs. These are just a few of the obstacles we could be faced with when dealing with a situation of this magnitude.
Each command section has its purpose and functionality within the makeup of the Incident Management Team. All sections, to include planning, logistics, and operations play a key role in accomplishing the best possible outcome. It requires team work within each of the sections as they work toward achieving a common goal.
The largest critique to come from the exercise was the breakdown of information dissemination from one section to the next. This was greatly reduced on the second day as the commanders became more critically involved in the scenario.
The scenario provided valuable information and a great learning experience for supervisors and commanders alike.
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