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DOVER — Sixteen men and women graduated from the Delaware Department of Correction’s 20th Basic Officer Training Course (BOTC) last Friday said the agency.

The academy class consisted of 11 new probation officers, one correctional counselor, one community work program coordinator, one paralegal, one correctional sergeant (who received training as a member of the Escapee Recovery Team) and one senior probation officer from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families.

DOC Bureau Chief Jim Elder, Chaplain Rory Russell, training administrator Jodie Hunter and class speaker Adam Solloway all spoke at the ceremony. The Outstanding Cadet award was presented to officer LaRee Jalot.

Mr. Elder recognized the families of each graduate and thanked them for the support and encouragement shown to the cadets over the thirteen-week training academy.

According to the DOC, the academy attempts to provide a foundation of knowledge, skills and techniques required to effectively supervise and manage adult offenders in the community.

Among the topics addressed are conditions of supervision, offender assessments, victim services, weapons training, defensive tactics, offender contact, substance abuse training and CPR/Basic First Aid.

“As you’ve learned in your training, the DOC has a dual mission of public safety and rehabilitation,” Mr. Elder reportedly told graduates on Friday.

“We cannot ignore one or the other; and neither can be achieved unilaterally. We owe it to ourselves and to the people of Delaware we serve to ensure probationers are returned to society better than when they were when placed into the Department’s custody.”

The instructional team for BOTC Class 20 consisted of Instructor Eric Eldridge and Drill Instructor LaTanya Smith.

The graduates begin their new careers with the Delaware Department of Correction next week.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com