Another constructive meeting with the administration at HDSP. So here is the recap by agenda item.
exempt posts- there are no pending changes to the exempt posts portion of the shift bidding procedures. They have not violated policy, but there were many concerns over the selection process. If we want to submit changes to the AR, we must go through the proper channels. A suggestion by Brotger Allen-Ricksecker was to have officers who request an exempt post submit a resume/fill out an application. This would highlight individuals’ qualifications. This was well received by the Warden. The feedback for officers who were not selected during the recent shift bid, has not been sent out yet due to workload and COVID complications.
Emergency Response Manual(ERM)- we were informed that changes will be coming to the ERM‘s across the state. They are working in a uniform response manual and are waiting for word on their budget requests for more effective munitions and tools.
Firearm accountability- We submitted ideas for a new system for real time account of firearms. We were told that they are very nearly complete with the new system and they feel we will like it. The language contained in the OP 412.04 #10 that states a round is not to be chambered will be removed very soon. The Warden agreed 100% that if you leave the institution with a firearm it is to have a round in the chamber. Updated OP’s and Post Orders- several policies have been updated and await final approval in order to be published and put into use.
Staff Burnout- This issue was addressed from several angles. First, due to the 92 officers currently out on COVID leave, we have seen a large increase in mandatory overtime. We asked can supervisors hire OT the day before to make it more desirable to volunteer. The response was yes, but they can only hire for the positions that they have vacant. Second, we asked if they can make the volunteer and mandatory lists visible to all staff for transparency. They agreed with this and said when Ferber returns they will try and make it happen. This will allow officers to have an idea where they are on the mandatory list as well as promoting transparency with who is being hired for voluntart OT. We also discussed the use of porters for feeding and cleaning. At first their response was porters should not be helping, but after discussion, they agreed to start screening 2 porters per unit in order to help with the feeding process. Porters will not be allowed to deliver trays, but they can dish up food and help with clean up of culinary containers. They will not be allowed to walk the tier, go door to door, or clean the showers. The cleaning of showers will be done by other porters, not specifically cleared to help feed. Do not abuse this practice or you will be subject to progressive discipline. The caseworkers have to clear the inmates first, so don’t start using porters to feed yet.
K-9 program- we asked if there is a chance to bring this program back and the answer was No. when we can get to some normalcy with COVID, the Warden was very eager to have drug dogs from other agencies sweep our yard. Furloughs- We are getting furloughs starting in January and they will be 1 per month Until June 30th. The NDOC was given the option of taking a pay cut and the Director said no we will do furloughs. Lockdown shower schedule- The issue was brought up that there is no shower schedule in GP units for the current lockdown. There will be a uniform shower schedule put out for units to perform showers consistently during the lockdown. We were unable to get to the rest of our agenda items due to time constraints.