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Correctional officers needed, upcoming testing dates announced

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Irena Medina

Irena Medina, a corrections officer at the Pennington County Juvenile Center, pushes 140 pounds on a sled Monday morning during the mock fitness trial in the county parking garage.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office will host its physical agility test for correctional officers this week and into October for those hoping to give it a try.

The office is one of the few in the state that requires a physical test for its correction officers who work in the Pennington County Jail and Juvenile  Services Center.

"When it comes to any type of tests that you're using to determine whether someone's appropriate for the job or something that we test on annually, it's important that it has to do with a job, that it's directly related to the tasks that we're doing," said Jail Commander Rob Yantis.

This year's test is updated from previous years and includes multiple flights of stairs, a weighted sled, high-knee hurdles and a sprint.

Yantis said each portion of the test relates to how correctional officers would have to respond in the event of an emergency. The test must also be completed in under five minutes.

Current correctional officers are tested annually for fitness, agility and dexterity. Yantis said the test Monday was set up to show the media, the public and potential officers what is required of the officers.

Yantis said there is still a great need for correctional officers not only in Pennington County but around the country.

"Across the nation, corrections has really struggled to keep enough people in their ranks and that puts a lot of pressure on the people who stay," he said.

He said the county goes through quite a few people at the jail because once someone starts, they learn a lot about the safety and justice community and county government, and learn about more opportunities.

All upcoming testing will be held at the Public Safety Building. Test time and dates will be 4 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. Sept. 29, 5 p.m. Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m. Oct. 7, 10 a.m. Oct. 11, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 18 and 8:30 a.m. Oct. 20. Starting pay is $23.14 per hour. Those interested can apply online at pennco.org.

— Contact Siandhara Bonnet at siandhara.bonnet@rapidcityjournal.com

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