Sheriff Charlie Sims announced on January 12, 2022, that members of the Forrest County Correctional facility were certified to use Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), less than lethal, spray. Better known as “Pepper Spray”.
The Class was taught by USM Police Major, Donald Parhm.
“I would like to thank our law enforcement partners at USM, who loaned us Major Parhm, to certify our correctional officers.”, said Sims.
Gaining firsthand experience on the receiving end of pepper spray has two training benefits: Officers will refrain from using the OC spray on people unless necessary, and they will gain an understanding of how the OC will impact those they spray with it.
According to FCSO Major Terrell Carson, commander of the Forrest County Correctional Facility, OC spray disperses widely when activated. It is possible for an officer to be caught in their own OC blast, or to be caught in the spray of someone else when they aim near them.
Carson said, “In the past, we have had officers assaulted in the jail. OC spray gives them an opportunity to subdue unruly prisoners very quickly. It also seems to be a deterrent for inmates thinking about assaulting an officer.”
OC certification is a one-time event for officers. And, the officers said they are incredibly happy that it is once and done.