We recently did an article on
professional courtesy in which we mentioned corrections officers. In
response, we received several emails from corrections officers thanking
us for including them. Why they felt the need to send such emails is a
Corrections officers are law enforcement
officers, no more, no less. To exclude them is no different than
excluding FBI agents, Sheriffs Officers, or State Troopers. While our
jobs may differ, we all deal with the same bad guys and are all part of
the same culture. They are part of us.
Imagine the worst street in your town (if
you even have a worst street). You know, the street that you avoid when
there is ten minutes left in your shift. Now, multiply that street times
ten. That’s what corrections officers deal with every day. How these
guys deal with these shit birds on a yearly, monthly and hourly basis is
I’ve had times where we’re bringing a
guy to the jail who is going bananas. We call ahead to see if a CO or
two can meet us outside and help. When we arrive there is a friggin mob
of them waiting for us. They all have two things in common. They’re
all wearing a uniform, and they’re all wearing black gloves. When we
pull in and the bad guy sees his fate, most of the time he will turn
into the most cooperative person you’ve ever handled with the manners
of an British Prince. On the few rare occasions where he keeps fighting,
he disappears into a blue cloud. All you see is this cloud moving back
into the jail with a pair of ankles as a tail. It’s actually kind of
funny to see.
CO’s are also the guys that pull up to
you on that 2 a.m. stop when you’re alone and the car has four
occupants. “You okay Bro?” I happen to work in a town where the
county jail is located, and I can’t even count how many times that has
Corrections Officer is also the one law
enforcement job that people quit from out of fear. They have had such
a problem with new hires leaving half way through the first shift or
after their first day because they couldn’t handle the inmates, that
DOC had to change their hiring procedures. Now, in most facilities, you
have to actually work in the facility with the bad guys before you can
go to the academy to ensure that you can handle it. And, this is not
criticism of those who left there. It’s a very tough job. Bottom line,
you have to have courage to work there.
Imagine the ten worst bad guys you ever
dealt with throughout your career. Now imagine having to deal with
hundreds of them at one time. It’s dealing with the All-Star team of
shit heads. That job takes balls, man, raw balls. Many facilities have
gone to this new prisoner management style called Direct Supervision.
Under this style one or two CO’s monitor an entire meal hall with as
many as a hundred prisoners. These two guys are alone and locked in
there with the bad guys.
Many of us, even those who are skilled in
other law enforcement jobs, could not necessarily handle the job of a
corrections officer. To me, the guys and girls who work there hold a
badge of honor being a corrections officer. If you doubt this, ask any
cop on the street who began his career in with a corrections agency.
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