TUCSON, Ariz. — Corrections Officer Training Academy, or COTA, in Tucson is wrapping up its seven week course training new cadets for a career working for the Arizona Department of Corrections.
The program gives cadets the opportunity to learn both physical and psychological demands of working with state inmate in minimum to maximum security. Each cadet learns self-defense, has weapons training, and other techniques to work in the field.
Commander Ivan Bartos says they use the Cooper Fitness Standard. This type of testing is used in military and other law enforcement agencies to access fitness ability and level. During the three phase program they are expected to graduate in the 50th percentile of physical fitness testing.
The last week of the program each cadet is pepper sprayed. Trainers say during this time anxiety is high but it is essential to understand what it is like for inmates who are sprayed with a chemical agent. Class 1042 is graduating five new cadets on Friday November 20, 2015 who will start work at the Yuma state corrections facility on Monday.