The Applicant Investigation Unit (AIU) is responsible for the hiring of all Correction Officers throughout the NYC Department of Correction. Their directive is to ensure that the New York Department of Correction hires the most qualified Correction Officer candidates to join the Department. The candidates are chosen/selected from the Civil Service List. The candidates are investigated and evaluated medically, which includes an agility test and a psychological evaluation to determine the candidate’s fitness for duty. The applicant Investigation Unit investigates thousands of candidates.
The Correction Academy provides classroom training for DOC uniform staff. Staff are taught and trained in a variety of topics, to include: Interpersonal Communication Skills, Defensive Tactics, Firearms Training, First Aid/CPR, Adolescent Inmate Behavior Management, Mental Health Training, Inmate Disciplinary Procedures, Preventing Workplace Violence, Report Writing, Suicide Prevention and Intervention, and Use of Force/Use of Restraints Procedures. The Correction Academy also prepares recruits for transition into Correction Officers by providing on the job training and daily briefings on the duties and responsibilities of a Correction Officer.
The Department of Correction canine unit is responsible for conducting facility searches. These searches are often in conjunction with other entities such as the Emergency Service Unit, the Intelligence Unit, and the Special Search Team. The canine unit utilizes active alert German Shepherds, and passive Labradors to patrol the outer and inner perimeters of Rikers Island on every tour, monitor inmate outdoor recreation, respond to disabled vehicles with inmates on board, respond to disturbances within the department and a passive Border collie canine to inspect all inmate’s in-coming mail.
The Fire Safety Unit (FSU) consists of Correction Officers and Civilians who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their mission is to ensure optimum fire safety at DOC facilities for all occupants. FSU has taken full responsibility to maintain the department’s 100-million-dollar investment of newly installed fire alarm systems and the contract to test, inspect and maintain these vital Life Safety fire alarm systems in accordance with FDNY rules and codes.
Monitoring – FSU Staff monitors fire safety activities of all vendors and contractors who perform testing, inspection, and maintenance of fire alarm systems and equipment, ensuring compliance with all NYC Fire Codes and DOC Directives. FSU Civilian Program Specialist monitors DOC Facility Fire Alarm systems 24 hours a day and immediately notify on-duty FSU Officers and Senior FSU staff whenever a fire alarm is activated.
Responding – FSU Staff are first responders to all fire incidents including fire alarm activations and other DOC emergencies whenever warranted. During these responses, FSU Officers assist Facilities during a fire/smoke condition, ensure that small fires are extinguished, occupants are safely evacuated and conduct preliminary arson investigations. FSU serves as the designated liaison between the DOC and responding FDNY units.
Inspections – FSU Staff conduct the annual fire safety inspection at all DOC facilities, ensuring that Facilities maintain a high level of fire safety compliance with relevant codes and Directives. The Fire Safety Unit also coordinates with FDNY Battalions that respond to our Facilities and review entrance procedures, perform inspections and discuss relevant topics and concerns.
Training – FSU staff works with the Correction Academy to develop and deliver fire safety training for all new Correction Officers, newly promoted Captains and Assistant Deputy Wardens, to ensure they are ready to respond to all fire emergencies in accordance with our Fire Safety Directives. FSU Officers also conduct site-specific training sessions for facilities when requested by Wardens and conduct and evaluate fire evacuation drills conducted at all DOC facilities.
Emergency Services Unit (ESU) responds to all emergencies within the department, both on and off Rikers Island. ESU responds to various incidents, including fire emergencies, high security inmate transport, riot control, inmate escapes, tactical security operations, cell extractions, perimeter security/response, confined space rescue, vehicle emergencies (i.e. vehicle accidents,). ESU also responds to all emergency drills (i.e. Fire Evacuation, Yard Drills), provides EMT response, and assists the Port Authority with possible air disasters or related events that may arise.
Other duties include, assist the Special Operations Division with security breaches (red and orange alerts) and enhance security for Rikers Island during emergencies. ESU is readily available to participate in all scheduled and unscheduled searches, and respond to all jail-based incidents. ESU is also responsible for the distribution, repair and maintenance of the departmental chemical agents supply, and provide chemical agent training for new recruits, in-service training, and facility training on Cell Extractions, Defensive Tactics, Cuffing and Escort Procedures.
The Firearms & Tactics Unit (FTU) delivers high-quality and legally defensible training in marksmanship, gun handling, tactics, mindset, and the legal use of lethal force to uniform members of the NYC Correction Department. All training is designed to teach correctional staff to survive deadly-force encounters while simultaneously protecting the community and preserving life. FTU is primarily responsible for providing firearms training to recruit correction officers and correctional staff, providing annual requalification training, performing inspections on newly acquired firearms, and ensuring the proper storage, transfer, disposal, and ownership of firearms.
The Communications Unit handles the New York City Department of Correction radio and mobile communication needs including video monitoring and all emergency alerts. The Unit is also responsible for installing and maintaining emergency lights, sirens and other necessary applications in all departmental cars.
The CARE Unit (Correction Assistance Response for Employees) is part of the larger Division of Chaplaincy and Staff Wellness. CARE serves as the Department’s Wellness/Employment Assistance Program. The members of the unit are tasked with responding to and supporting staff generally in the day- to-day aspects of their work-life as well as when unexpected situations including injury or serious emergency arise. The Unit offers dynamic services to all employees to effectively increase the Department’s efficiency, morale, productivity, aide in stress management, and provide a wide variety of support. We address the needs of staff experiencing a range of personal or family issues and well as trauma debriefing, domestic violence, anxiety, family crisis, PTSD, job-related stressors, terminal illness, financial difficulties, substance abuse issues and all other problems not in violation of departmental policies. The CARE Unit also regularly provides referrals to community resources as an additional source for employees to attain further assistance. The services of CARE are available to all employees of the Department.
With over four hundred vehicles in its care, the Transportation Division is charged with transporting inmates, staff, visitors and cargo safely and securely. This multifaceted unit handles all of the New York City Department of Correction’s automotive and transportation needs.
The Ceremonial Unit is composed of volunteer Correction Officers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity. The Ceremonial Unit’s task is to ensure that the tradition and history of the Department are remembered and carried forward. The Ceremonial Unit organizes Color Guard events, Graduations, Promotions, funerals, local unit plaque dedications for Centennial celebrations and remembrances.
The Facility Maintenance and Repair Division works with non-uniform and uniform personnel to address all aspects of its diverse mission.
Specific Division responsibilities include:
BUILDING MAINTENANCE: Non-facility / facility maintenance department wide.
UTILITIES: Maintenance and repair of the water mains, fire mains, electrical distribution systems, storm drains, sewer systems, and steam delivery systems.
POWERHOUSE: Operation and maintenance of Rikers Island Steam Tunnels and Powerhouse, which provides all of the steam for cooking, heating, and production of hot water and much of the electricity used on Rikers Island.
COGENERATION PLANT: The plant was built to reduce the need for off–site power.
SECURITY DEVICES: Unit comprised of officers who inspect and service department magnetometers, Body Scanners, building / intrusion alarms, and special security equipment.
VENTILATION TASK FORCE: Specialized unit for the installation and maintenance of heating and ventilation systems.
FMRD CAPTAINS: Captains are on call 24-hours and respond to infrastructure and / or utility emergencies by calling in and deploying staff as required to address any given situation.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT UNIT (CMU): CMU manages the Department’s capital construction projects as well as maintaining security fencing Department-wide.