TMG Celebrates Alan Gregory During National Correctional Officers Week
COVID-19 brought challenges to every profession, and corrections held specific and difficult challenges, met through training innovations. Alan was able to implement in less than a month an innovative approach to the Basic Corrections Training Program (BCTP) and maintain the efficacy of the program. The greatest challenges included holding the attention of the participants virtually, troubleshooting technology issues users experienced, managing the logistics of the technology with limited funding, and coordinating with 45 instructors throughout the program across seven or more sites. But using new technology became a staple during COVID-19, and Alan implemented the use of virtual learning platforms to find the one that worked best with the existing systems and users.
Using virtual instruction and blended learning approaches required working with participants to provide computers and instruction on using the platforms. The effectiveness of the agency was positively impacted by allowing operations to continue uninterrupted. While the number of participants per class decreased, the number of classes increased to keep up with demand to provide trained officers. The changes implemented have received excellent, positive feedback from various agencies as they were able to maintain staffing levels during the pandemic. Alan recommends that anyone needing to make quick and extensive modifications to training must be positive, trust your experience, and not be afraid to fail.
We congratulate Alan Gregory and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy on rising to the challenges of COVID-19 with successful innovative training initiatives to better prepare and support staff long-term.