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CHRT Selection Process

STL Joseph Garcia

Do you recognize this man?

He’s 6’5”, can bench a car, able to lift a truck and squat a train, and crush a man with his bare hands? It sounds like an able bodied candidate for an operator. Unfortunately, he can’t run ½ mile without losing his breath, can’t fit into a caged bus without getting stuck in the 1st door, loses his temper easily, and could easily accidentally kill an inmate.

How about this guy? He’s an operator with a waist bigger than his chest, who can’t breathe in low intensity operations, has to have a full time O2 tank at his side just in case he has to take more than 100 steps in a several second period, and is on the team because of his rank, length of time at the agency and not because of his abilities.

Or the operator who has been put on the unit because he knows the right guy, but he cannot operate without causing serious problems to his unit, or others around him? What about the person who is put on the team because of his or her race, religion, color or sex?

If you have a CHRT selection program that is based on any or all of these “qualifications”, then get in line with the units that have been sued in the past and start handing out the checks, because the lawsuits are coming.

CHRT operations units require the highest level of selection process, integrity, and ethics. You cannot afford to have a team with operators that have operational flaws or issues that will compromise the unit.

If you have a CHRT program, then you must have a clear and concise selection process. For security purposes I will not go into details regarding the process, but will only cover the basic points that agencies should consider. A successful selection process should be:




Job Specific

Court Defendable




Administrator and SEC – Senior Executive Commanders please note that upon hiring, you are about to invest thousands of dollars in a candidate, allow that person to learn very classified material, and be outfitted with expensive equipment. It is in your best interest to have the right person for the job and not the right job filled by any person.

I have seen several cases in my 12 years of training and operating both as a team leader and Senior Instructor where an agency puts a person on a unit who clearly did not meet the profile of an operator. It usually ended with a cost to the unit of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many team operators want to know why US C-SOG is considered the best of corrections training. Simply, we have been to court in the last 12 years ZERO times to defend the actions of an operator and neither have any of our clients! That is a good record, a record largely reliant on having the right people, trained the right way.

One thing I tell to all of our teams and clients is that I do not have time to PC anything; I do not have time for a 2 hour lunch break in training. I have a goal, to get students operational in a set time. If not, I have failed. Potential candidates must be good, they must fit criteria, or they simply cannot be trained to excel. We have a 20% DOR ratio in our schools. That’s right, 20% of our students will drop out for any number of reasons. Why do we DOR? Simply because we are in the life saving business, and the last time I checked inmates were still inmates, “high liability.” There is no margin for leniency in training or selection.

I say to every class I teach, “I can either train you or I can teach you. If I train you then I will not hurt your feelings and I will not push you or expect the best out of you. However, if I teach you, then I will demand the best and expect 150% percent.” If we are working towards the same goal—and we better be—then we work hard, we don’t take things personally, and we aim for the best, because we are in the life saving business, and cannot operate with less.

Administrators and Commanders, you must be the same way, and you must have that kind of passion, because once the team is activated, you need the best, and there is no chance for screwing up. Remember, every operator is a reflection of YOU!

Operator Profile

The detailed profile of a Tier 1 and Tier 2 operator is classified, however there are basic traits that cannot be ignored or over looked. You want to make sure that the minimal characteristics are seen in every applicant.


Work History

Fitness Level

Mental Profile

Work Experience

Sound Selection Procedure

The selection process should include at the minimum the following categories:

Fitness Test

Mental Profile

Applicants Essay

2 Interview Panels (Peer and Command Level)

Operator PIF Review Board

Security Clearance Report

Medical Review

Your investment in each operator is not cheap, but it is important that each operator meet minimal standards. Having a sound selection process reduces future safety, security and legal issues.

A sound program begins with a transparent selection process!

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