MTC and the Idaho Department of Correction: A Strong Partnership
In Idaho, all corrections officers are required to go through Peace Officer Standards and Training or POST. “There are no distinctions between state and private within the state of Idaho,” says Victor McCraw, Idaho POST’s Division Administrator. “If you’re going to be certified and if you’re going to be performing these duties, you need to be state certified, and those certification standards are exactly the same.”
MTC contracts with the Idaho Department of Correction to operate the Correctional Alternative Placement Program or Idaho CAPP Facility. All officers must be POST-certified. The administration at Idaho CAPP recognized that if they were to train their own cadets, it would help the state meet their POST certification requirement.
Department of Correction Director Henry Atencio credits the CAPP facility for taking the initiative to become authorized by POST to run their own academies.
CAPP Warden Brian Finn says, “We have a POST-certified training academy at CAPP, obviously certified by POST council, to provide law enforcement, correctional training in the state of Idaho.”
McCraw adds, “In order to delegate that responsibility to somebody else, we take great pains to make sure that institution is doing business as we would have in the same circumstances and meeting the same standards.”
Malcolm Beach, CAPP’s training lieutenant says, “We teach the exact same curriculum, and we do the same testing. We work pretty much hand in hand.”
Today, Idaho CAPP not only trains their own cadets, but trains others as well, making the Idaho CAPP POST academies an integral part of the state’s overall POST program.
Director Atencio says,
“The Department of Correction has been able to capitalize on that resource and send staff through the MTC Idaho CAPP academies. We have staff training side by side with their staff; it’s not just us sending staff or MTC sending staff to mutual academies, it’s working closely with their training coordinators, their training staff, and the department of correction’s training staff to pull those academies off. It’s been a tremendous benefit for us.”
Warden Finn expresses appreciation for the partnership, “We appreciate POST Council’s trust in working with us. It’s a great relationship. [It’s a] good relationship with the department of corrections. We send our officers to their academies, they send their officers to our academies, and that trust and relationship is a unique partnership.”
McCraw says, “The MTC academy is probably the most trusted external academy in the state of Idaho. We have no issues with wondering or worrying if our standards are being maintained within that academy. Those standards are being maintained, the students regularly pass our exams, usually with higher average scores than some of our on-campus students.”
Director Atencio adds,
“I can tell you from day one, we’ve had a fantastic partnership with the CAPP facility, their administration, and their staff. Our partnership with MTC, with Warden Finn, all of the staff at Idaho CAPP is really one of the best partnerships we enjoy among our many partnerships in the state of Idaho. You know, I know they’re a vendor of ours, but it doesn’t feel like a vendor relationship to us, they’re part of the fold to us, and it’s a critical need in Idaho today.”