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:: The Forgotten Cop

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  • :: The Forgotten Cop

    ========================

    We do this job everyday and we're called "guards", "babysitters", etc.

    However the people we secure are not babies and they definitely aren't in jail for Jay Walking. No offense to my CPD friends but what if you were asked to do this?

    THE FORGOTTEN COP

    What would the average citizen say if it were proposed that Police Officers be assigned to a neighborhood which was inhabited by no one but criminals and those Officers would be unarmed, patrol on foot and be heavily out numbered?

    I wager that the overwhelming public response would be that the Officers would have to be crazy to accept such an assignment. However as you read this, such a scenario is being played out in all areas of the country.

    We are Correctional Officers or Detention Deputies, not Guards (who are people that watch school crossings). We work at minimum, medium, and maximum security Correctional
    Facilities.

    We are empowered by the State to enforce its Penal Laws, Rules, and Regulations of the Department of Correctional Services.

    In short we are Policemen (and women).

    Our beat is totally inhabited by convicted felons (in county jails, it is mostly pre-trial accused persons of all crime levels) who, by definition, are people who tend to break laws, rules, and regulations.

    We are out numbered by as many as 60 to 1 at various times of our workday and contrary to popular belief, we work without a side arm.

    In short, our necks are on the line every minute of every day.

    A Correctional Facility is a very misunderstood environment.

    The average person has very little knowledge of its workings.

    Society sends it's criminals to Correctional Facilities and as time passes, each criminal's crime fades from our memory until the collective prison population becomes hordes of bad people being warehoused away from decent society in a place where they can cause no further harm.

    There is also the notion that prison inmates cease to be a problem when they are incarcerated.

    Correctional Facilities are full of violence perpetrated by the prison population against the prison population and facility staff. Felonies are committed daily but are rarely reported.

    They are called "unusual incidents" and rarely result in criminal prosecution.

    Discipline is handled internally and, as a rule, the public is rarely informed of these crimes.

    In the course of maintaining order in these facilities, many Officers have endured the humiliation of having urine and feces thrown at them, been spit on, and been called every name in the book and then some.

    Uncounted Correctional Officers have been kicked, bitten, stabbed and slashed with home made weapons, taken hostage, murdered and even raped in the line of duty, all while being legally mandated to maintain their Professional Composure and refraining from any retaliation which could be the basis for dismissal from service.

    In addition to these obvious dangers, Correctional Officers face hidden dangers in the form of AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C. (Universal precautions, folks!!)

    Courts are now imposing longer sentences and the prison population is increasing far beyond the systems designated capacity. Don't forget the mentally ill, who end up in these facilities because of budget cuts that resulted in facilities that are appropriate for these individuals
    being closed.

    As the public demands more police on the street, governments everywhere are cutting police in prison where violence reins supreme, jeopardizing all those working behind prison walls.

    Although you will never see us on "911" or "Top Cops" we are Law Enforcement Professionals.

    We are the "FORGOTTEN COP," hidden from public view, doing a dangerous beat, hoping someday to receive the respect and approval from the public who "WE SILENTLY SERVE."

    ===================

    source: email forward

  • #2
    I agree, Rolt, you guys do a job I want no part of. Every time I go there to writ a guy out, I make sure my ID card is on my outer clothes, so no one will ever think I'm one of the "residents." I'll tell you, the hiring for your guys has got better over the years. Back in the Elrod days, we'd have all kinds of problems with O/D CCDOC guys. Not so much any more, though, better caliber of people being hired, but just as with our job, there's always a few that fall (or clout, as the case may be) through the cracks..

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    • #3
      You speak the truth.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post
        I agree, Rolt, you guys do a job I want no part of. Every time I go there to writ a guy out, I make sure my ID card is on my outer clothes, so no one will ever think I'm one of the "residents." I'll tell you, the hiring for your guys has got better over the years. Back in the Elrod days, we'd have all kinds of problems with O/D CCDOC guys. Not so much any more, though, better caliber of people being hired, but just as with our job, there's always a few that fall (or clout, as the case may be) through the cracks..
        Amen,my brother!
        Remember 9/11! No dog compares to a Wirehair!

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        • #5
          Rolt, I agree that Correctional Officers have a tough job. I was one for a short time before I accepted a job as PO. However, I disagree with the notion that you are the "forgotten cop." I mean in terms of media exposure, there are TV shows like COPS that have been featured showing the inside of jails/prisons. On the plus side you guys haven't been in and out of the media the way the police have been lately. What I think a big problem is that since most places don't have the most stringent of standards in hiring CO's as they do police officers, not the most highly intelligent people tend to get in. This is where the disrespect comes into play in my opinion. To be quite honest, I wouldn't want 95% of the people I worked with at my county jail anywhere near me if I needed backup. Sometimes the only thing that differentiated them from the inmates was the uniform.

          I think the word "Correctional Officer" is poor euphimism. In the words one of my instructors at the academy (who was a CO), "who the f*** do you correct?" I think "Detention Officer or Penal Officer" would be more accurate.

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          • #6
            cubsfan,

            Not all counties are alike. What is your take on departments whose requirements for CO is the same as PO?

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            • #7
              Quite honestly I think the standards should be the same. I think people trying to be CO's should have to take the POWER test, go through the medical exam, psych/poly, drug screening, very thorough background investigation, etc. Like you said, you're the police but in a building. You still have the same dangers we do and one needs to be physically and mentally prepared to handle those dangers.

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              • #8
                I do not know what county you worked in/for but the requirements being the same (including the college) is coming for Cook County. And some counties already have their deputies being the police both inside and outside the jail walls.


                But this thread is not for that discussion, but to give a little honor to those working the tiers.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rolt View Post
                  We do this job everyday and we're called "guards", "babysitters", etc.

                  However the people we secure are not babies and they definitely aren't in jail for Jay Walking. No offense to my CPD friends but what if you were asked to do this?
                  Yep, I have done it. I would do it again if I had to. That being said, as you well know I have nothing but respect for CCDOC officers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And we have nothing but respect for you.
                    Remember 9/11! No dog compares to a Wirehair!

                    Comment

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