Elite squad proves it is up to the job at the John Morony

If prisoners at John Morony Correctional Complex barricade themselves in, escape or cause a riot, there is an elite team of 70 correctional officers who can deal with it, according to Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard.

Mr Hazzard and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin watched the Corrective Services’ NSW specialist Security Operations Group (SOG) undertake an exercise at the jail earlier this month .

The group was responding to a mock hostage scenario training exercise to test their skills at the Berkshire Park jail.

‘‘I was extremely impressed by these officers’ tactical and negotiation skills, and their command of Corrective Services’ NSW weaponry and K9 teams,’’ Mr Hazzard said.

‘‘Fortunately this sort of hostage scenario has rarely occurred in NSW prison history.

‘‘However, it is extremely reassuring to know that these men and women are more than prepared to respond to the worst as they uphold the very best security standards for our prisons.’’

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the day’s training was business as usual for the group.

Mr Severin said that the SOG was also prepared to deal with the potential scenarios of barricaded cells, escapes and riots.

It helped to train other officers throughout the prison system to respond to potential security threats.

‘‘The job of correctional staff is an inherently risky one so we take a multi-faceted approach to maintaining order in prisons,” Mr Severin said.

‘‘The SOG also uses K9s to search visitors, inmates and cells to restrict access to potential weapons.

‘‘Our centres use security screening and strong intelligence gathering to keep across any potential security threat.’’