Stock police photo
Times file photo

HAMMOND — Four correctional officers have been hired to guard detainees at the city's jail, allowing the city to shift more police manpower back to the streets, according to Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. 

These civilian correctional officers will take the place of uniformed law enforcement within the Hammond Police Department, McDermott said in a news release. 

“This is comparable to hiring four police officers,” McDermott said. “With the new correctional officers, four of our police officers will be able to leave the office and return to the streets where they are needed more."

Civilian correction officers are required to pass an FBI/National Crime Information Center criminal history screening and a local police department background check. They also must pass a standard aptitude test, physical agility test, voice stress analysis, psychological test, drug screening and an oral interview, the release stated. 

Correctional officers are repsonsible for fingerprinting, photographing and searching prisoners, making visual checks on a regular basis on all detainees, and assisting the booking sergeant in physical confrontations with detainees. 

“As I’ve stated in the past, imported crime is the biggest challenge Hammond faces”, McDermott said.  “Having more officers on the street along with our (license plate capture) cameras, implemented earlier this year, will help in controlling imported crime.” 

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Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.