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Strange Story RE:Corrections Officer

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  • Strange Story RE:Corrections Officer

    I know a guy who was a corrections officer, until he apparently got himself fired over some off duty incident. The details are fuzzy because I believe his story is his story and theres really more to it. The jist of the deal is that he apparently observed some woman driving erratically on the fwy on his way home from the klink, and, somehow or another, ended up on the shoulder with her and flashed his badge (he says unintentionally). The incident was investigated and even the union apparently wouldn't grievance the issue and he was out.

    The organization was Santa Clara County but I believe their corrections are non-sworn persons in some sort of a contract arrangement.

    This may not be enough info for any real input, but I guess what I'm looking for is if anyone knows what the deal is regarding the badge thing, is it true that some corrections personnel are "non-sworn" and therfore have no off duty powers, rendering him essentially guilty of falsely identifying himself as a peace officer? Can anyone make a guess at what, if any, bigger underlying issue may have been at work? Until this time he was a standout at the facility, training personnel and doing extra assignments and such. I just have a strange feeling about this whole deal.

  • #2
    If he was a corrections officer for CDCR than I believe these officers are sworn. If he was a Custody Assistant or Corrections officer for the county than odds are that he isn't sworn, hence the reason he got fired. I would bet that even CDCR frowns upon their sworn officers taking part in this kind of behavior because these guys aren't set up to function in a patrol type capactiy...ie no backup, no radio contact, no marked vehicles, so odds are that doing what he did was stupid sworn or not, and so he may have gotten fired for doing what he did either way. My best guess is that he work for Santa clara county sheriff's department as a non-sworn correctional officer and hence was fired for what would be considered impersonating a peace officer.

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    • #3
      worked for*

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      • #4
        Many moons ago Santa Clara County decided they wanted to take the operation of the jail away from the sheriff. They subsequently created a county "Department of Correction". Their CO's are not peace officers:

        PC 831.5. (a) As used in this section, a custodial officer is a public officer, not a peace officer, employed by a law enforcement agency of San Diego County, Fresno County, Kern County, Stanislaus County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, or a county having a population of 425,000 or less who has the authority and responsibility for maintaining custody of prisoners and performs tasks related to the operation of a local detention facility used for the detention of persons usually pending arraignment or upon court order either for their own safekeeping or for the specific purpose of serving a sentence therein. Custodial officers of a county shall be employees of, and under the authority of, the sheriff, except in counties in which the sheriff, as of July 1, 1993, is not in charge of and the sole and exclusive authority to keep the county jail and the prisoners in it. A custodial officer includes a person designated as a correctional officer, jailer, or other similar title. The duties of a custodial officer may include the serving of warrants, court orders, writs, and subpoenas in the detention facility or under circumstances arising directly out of maintaining custody of prisoners and related tasks.
        (b) A custodial officer has no right to carry or possess firearms in the performance of his or her prescribed duties, except, under the direction of the sheriff or chief of police, while engaged in transporting prisoners; guarding hospitalized prisoners; or suppressing jail riots, lynchings, escapes, or rescues in or about a detention facility falling under the care and custody of the sheriff or chief of police.
        If you see me running try to keep up!

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        • #5
          Thanks guys, this is the kind of input I was looking for. Now, I'm going to ASSume that if the conditions were as stated, that he is a "public officer" rather than a sworn "peace officer" and badged somebody, that would be grounds for immediate dismissal, correct?

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          • #6
            Yes of course it would be immediate grounds for dismissal... Impersonating an officer is a felony so he's lucky he just got fired.

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            • #7
              White Wolf you are right we are sworn peace officers in CDCR. Our i.d.s state that we are peace officers. There are some even in our department that would frown on it if one of us would have done that same thing. If I was approaching the car I would want the person to know that I am in law enforcement and what better way to do that but by flashing a badge and i.d.

              However, I wouldn't have approached the car unless I knew for sure the person needed immediate attention. I would have opted to call 911 and wait then identified myself once local law enforcement arrived and offered any help. As for this situation I wasn't there and don't know what happened so I won't pass judgement and give the C/O the benefit of the doubt and say that he did what he felt was right.

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              • #8
                Funny this came up. We were just talking about that dude. That guy you were refering to actually pulled over a DEPUTIES wife....with his C.O. badge in his personal car. LOL. There are TON of stories about that dude, some crazier than this one.
                Noise Check!

                Vic Mackey was my Training Officer

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jerkyg
                  CO's are custodial officers and have no peace officer powers off duty. Juvenile Correctional officers are peace officers and work for the Probation Department. Their status are peace officer's and that status is 24 hours. Their authority is only on duty. But, are able to carry firearms off duty.

                  Our department will not acknowledge that right...but, it is there.

                  We had an employee that showed his badge in a similar situation and was fired. But, he was on probation status. Long story...but, he was within his right. If someone is gonna attack you...by showing your badge will bring the assault to a felony instead of a misd.

                  jerkyg
                  While we are on this subject of CO's and badges: as far as I know, a peace officer can carry a firearm off duty(concealed of course) and his badge or id is his CCW. So... my question is, what about a CO or CA? Or would they need an actual CCW?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by serenade84 View Post
                    While we are on this subject of CO's and badges: as far as I know, a peace officer can carry a firearm off duty(concealed of course) and his badge or id is his CCW. So... my question is, what about a CO or CA? Or would they need an actual CCW?
                    If they are not sworn they need a CCW permit. Most counties issue CCW's to their civilian CO's.

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                    • #11
                      This topic is controversial amongst peace officers who work the street and peace officers who work custody. A good reference point, for both sides, is scope of employment. The correctional officer mentioned in this case was probably fired for doing something out of policy and / or the scope of his employment. I remember when I was working custody our commander put a memo out re sworn deputies participating in proactive law enforcement outside of the jail itself (ped checks, occupied vehicle checks and traffic stops). His contention was that we were not patrol trained and that should something go wrong, we could get dinged for doing something outside the scope of being a deputy assigned to custody. While I disagree, it's better to be cautious when you could get jammed up both criminally and personally. For reference on the different classes of peace officers check this link out:

                      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/wa...ction=retrieve
                      The Thousandth Man

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 1tyme View Post
                        This topic is controversial amongst peace officers who work the street and peace officers who work custody. A good reference point, for both sides, is scope of employment. The correctional officer mentioned in this case was probably fired for doing something out of policy and / or the scope of his employment. I remember when I was working custody our commander put a memo out re sworn deputies participating in proactive law enforcement outside of the jail itself (ped checks, occupied vehicle checks and traffic stops). His contention was that we were not patrol trained and that should something go wrong, we could get dinged for doing something outside the scope of being a deputy assigned to custody. While I disagree, it's better to be cautious when you could get jammed up both criminally and personally. For reference on the different classes of peace officers check this link out:

                        http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/wa...ction=retrieve

                        Patrol trained or not, I am sure if you are doing traffic stops in your personal vehicle, you are going to get yourself repremanded by your commander and that is what the person in question did. I don't think any agency is going to like their off duty officers doing traffic stops for everyday traffic violations off duty.

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                        • #13
                          I question why non-sworn Custody Assistants/Detentions Officers/Services Officers are issued Flat Badges to begin with. It's like giving a guy a loaded rifle with hunting license and telling him he can't shoot that Elk walking in front of him.

                          If they need CCW endorsements to carry firearms, why not just issue an ID Card? The ID card is most important anyway with the flat badge being the decoration. Most people associate Badge with Gun so why create confusion?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RicardoTubbs View Post
                            I question why non-sworn Custody Assistants/Detentions Officers/Services Officers are issued Flat Badges to begin with. It's like giving a guy a loaded rifle with hunting license and telling him he can't shoot that Elk walking in front of him.

                            If they need CCW endorsements to carry firearms, why not just issue an ID Card? The ID card is most important anyway with the flat badge being the decoration. Most people associate Badge with Gun so why create confusion?
                            I had heard something to the effect that the Attorney General (CA) had made some sort of ruling that badges to anyone except sworn peace officers was a no-no from now on. I do not know for sure, but I don't think the correctional deputies from my county (Riverside) carry, and/or get, any type of badge other than the one they are issued to wear on duty. If they are issued badges, flat or otherwise, I can't see the need to have one off duty. What good does it do?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by avaand View Post
                              I had heard something to the effect that the Attorney General (CA) had made some sort of ruling that badges to anyone except sworn peace officers was a no-no from now on. I do not know for sure, but I don't think the correctional deputies from my county (Riverside) carry, and/or get, any type of badge other than the one they are issued to wear on duty. If they are issued badges, flat or otherwise, I can't see the need to have one off duty. What good does it do?
                              What you are referring to is an AG opinion, which is just that, an opinion and it's not legally binding. The AG wrote an opinion stating that only sworn peace officer could or should have a badge, some dept. complied with the AG opinion and others did nothing a keep issuing badges to civilian employees.

                              I question why non-sworn Custody Assistants/Detentions Officers/Services Officers are issued Flat Badges to begin with. It's like giving a guy a loaded rifle with hunting license and telling him he can't shoot that Elk walking in front of him.

                              If they need CCW endorsements to carry firearms, why not just issue an ID Card? The ID card is most important anyway with the flat badge being the decoration. Most people associate Badge with Gun so why create confusion?
                              As it relates to CCW, it has to be on a standardized DOJ form in California, all CCW are issued by the Sheriff of the county of residence of the CCW holder or the Chief of Police of the city of residence and it has to be on a DOJ standardized form because it's a State license, the only exception to this is for reserve peace officers who can be issued by their employing agency even if they don't live in their jurisdiction, this does not apply to their civilian employees so if a civilian employee lives in another county that he or she works in, their employing agency cannot issue them a CCW according to State Statute.
                              Last edited by ownerop; 12-22-2008, 09:46 PM.

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