Cpt. Rasar bringing enthusiasm, training to BCDC
Michael Rasar is excited about his new job.
He’s excited to be in a new building with a new staff and new opportunities. He is bringing with him enthusiasm to a job that a lot of people consider tough.
Captain Rasar, 32, is the new administrator of the newly renovated Barnwell County Detention Center, hired by Sheriff Ed Carroll. He took over the position upon the retirement of Deloris Charlton in July.
He comes to the job from Aiken County where he says he has served in just about every facet of detention. “I’ve been a line officer, field training officer, shift supervisor and classification manager,” said Rasar during an interview last week. His last assignment was as training lieutenant which, as third in charge, included hiring, training, supervision and quartermaster duties.
“I have been blessed to have been surrounded by some great leaders – Sheriff Hunt, Captain Gallam, Charles Barranco – and many more. They have led me to where I am.”
He said he is grateful for their guidance over the last 11 years.
So, when the Barnwell County opportunity arose, Rasar decided he was ready to take the next step in his career.
“I really appreciate (Barnwell County) Sheriff Carroll bringing me in to the fold,” he said.
“This is a big change for the staff. We have a new building, new protocols and a new administration,” said Rasar.
Rasar said he considers his job one of public responsibility. “I work for the sheriff but I am responsible to the public. I want to be saving money where I can and doing things efficiently.”
At the same time, he realizes he and his staff of 39 officers are dealing with human beings who have been arrested for drugs, violent crimes and non-violent offenses.
“We want honest, hard-working people who want to work but also understand how to talk to people,” said Rasar. “Our staff has to have good communication skills.”
Those skills can make a huge difference in how inmates behave.
“The first six months as an employee (of the detention center) are the hardest. That is when they learn inmate behavior and acquire instincts.”
To know how to deal with prisoners, training is the key, said Rasar. “I do 75 hours of training every year,” said Rasar. That doesn’t include the training where he is the trainer.
BCDC employees can expect a routine of training to be the best they can be in a brand new facility.
But experience is the best teacher, Rasar admits.
The Barnwell County Detention Center, which has just been renovated, has four units with dorms for different levels of offenders. There is one female unit.
The detention center is rated for 124 inmates by the South Carolina Department of Corrections but last year’s average inmate population was 68, said the captain.
“If a person has a loved one in this facility, we want them to know that we will take care of (their loved ones) to the best of our ability,” said Rasar. At the same time, there are rules and routines to be followed.
“This is a very nice facility – one of the nicest facilities of its size in South Carolina,” said Rasar. “We have to take care of this building. This is a taxpayer investment.”
He said he is willing to schedule a tour of the facility any day. “I believe I serve the taxpayers,” he said.
While not a Barnwell County native, Rasar feels close to the Barnwell community. “I was born in Ohio but my family moved to Windsor when I was a year old. My dad worked at SRS (Savannah River Site) and now at Bridgestone.”
Williston was a nearby place to visit.
Rasar attended elementary school in Windsor and graduated from South Aiken High School in 2003. He served in the Reserves before joining Aiken County’s detention service after his 21st birthday in 2006.
He said he loves training his coworkers in an ever-changing profession. “There are always new laws, new protocols to be learned. I love teaching new people the ins and outs. I love discovering new laws and new practices and sharing those. Most of all, I love watching others whom I have trained go on to succeed in their careers.”
In his “off” time, Rasar enjoys hunting, fishing and vacationing on Lake Murray. Most of all, he enjoys being with his wife Katheryn and 9-month-old daughter Raelynne.