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Starting over, and a surprise...

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  • Starting over, and a surprise...

    I applied, and was selected, to transfer from the jail division of our department to the patrol division. It's something I've been working on for several months, and just found out I'll start FTO soon.

    I'm happy, but I also know I'm going from a position of respect and a fair amount of seniority back to being the bottom guy and not KNOWING anything anymore. Another whole skill set to learn. I confess I'm not looking forward to that part.

    However, all that isn't the main problem.

    I also found out that, on the patrol side, I have developed a reputation for being overly violent with inmates. I'm 6' 4" and 250lbs. I get asked to cover a lot of other deputies working the floor when there is a potential for violence. I often end up on cell extractions and pod shakedowns. When the boss needs to have a "come to Jesus" talk with a troublesome inmate I often get tasked with providing security, in part to help him make his point.

    I admit I'm not afraid to use force, and I enjoy doing those things, but I don't think I've ever done so unnecessarily or outside policy. None of my use of force reports have ever come back unjustified. Nobody's ever told me offline to cool it.

    Everybody fills a role on our detention team. Some people are good at paperwork, some people are good at talking to inmates, some people are good at booking, some are disciplinarians (citing inmates for infractions of jail rules and such) and some focus on doing the manual work that has to be done to keep things going. I transport inmates, do the manual work and stand by to try to PREVENT violence from occurring... and I resolve it if it does.

    I _thought_ I was doing the right things this whole time. Now I find myself questioning everything about how I've been doing this job and my role in the organization... just as I'm getting ready to move into the most challenging part of my career so far.

    I'm alternating between pizzed off and freaked out. The revelation was a shock and I'm not sure how to handle it.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

  • #2
    Listen to your FTO, learn from your mistakes, and treat people with respect. I am not a senior Officer, but after working in a small agency with only one Officer and you KNOW your backup can be 20 minutes away, you learn real quick how not to escelate a situation. Your FTO will teach (or should) teach you MOST everything you need to know. If he/she observes you conducting yourself in an inappropriate manor, you will get schooled. I know I did a couple times. If you go into your FTO doubting yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure.

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    • #3
      Of all the reputations to have, that's a really good one to have. Your co-workers know you'll be there in the fight with them, and capable of finishing it. That beats the hell out of being the guy they've never seen use force, or use to little to late.

      The inmates probably have the same feelings about you. This can only be to your benefit out on the street when you meet these same former inmates. Reputations and looking tough end potential fights before they begin.

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      • #4
        "I admit I'm not afraid to use force, and I enjoy doing those things,"
        .....might not be the best word choice.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by swat_op506 View Post
          "I admit I'm not afraid to use force, and I enjoy doing those things,"
          .....might not be the best word choice.
          I read it that way at first too, but I THINK That he means he enjoys doing the cell extractions and covering the other guys if they need it. I believe reputations hold water at times but I like to see how someone works in person and judge them for myself as opposed to what I heard from someone else. We all know how some cops run their mouths and spread unfounded rumors sometimes.

          Your the new guy on the beat so of course your new co-workers have nothing to go on except for what they have heard. Sit back, get a feel for how each individual on the shift is. Hopefully you will be paired with more than one FTO so you can learn from more than one mindset. Learn what kinda cop you want to be from the good officers and what kind of cop you shouldn't be from the bad officers. Working the Jail and Road are two different jobs. Dealing with the same types of people sometimes but its a different dynamic on the street. Good luck bro.
          Last edited by lpstopper; 02-27-2015, 01:04 AM.
          "Its not what you know, its what you can prove."-Training Day

          "Game on, bitches. Whoop whoop, flash the lights, pull it over."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TheTick
            Sidenote: Are you losing seniority due to your transfer or do you mean you are sort of like an FNG again due to lack of patrol work?
            Officially I go from Jail-Medium-Highish to Patrol-Last.

            If I ever transfer back to the Jail I'll go back to Jail-Last, unless I transfer in to a promotion... which rarely happens. Generally promotions are internal.

            I read it that way at first too, but I THINK That he means he enjoys doing the cell extractions and covering the other guys if they need it.
            This. I'd like to THINK my being there has prevented more problems than it's caused.

            Hopefully you will be paired with more than one FTO so you can learn from more than one mindset
            Officially I'll have 3 but due to scheduling I'll probably work to some extent with 5.
            Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-27-2015, 12:40 PM.
            "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

            "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

            Comment


            • #7
              I think you will be fine. Rumors are rumors, always will be. Get out on the road, listen and learn, and let your actions dictate how your brothers and sisters see you. They are smart people. Cops know how to cut through bull*****. They will put two and two together and figure out what is going on.

              Like I said, listen and learn, officer safety, watch the hands, etc. Be a cop, do your job, and the rest will fall in place.

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              • #8
                You CHOSE the transfer. You should have already thought about and accepted the drop in seniority. That said, you probably won't be treated like a rookie straight out of the academy.

                I don't really understand what you're getting at on the "reputation for being overly violent" issue. If you really have a reputation amongst your colleagues for being OVERLY violent, I don't think that's a good thing and you may need to examine your tactics. There are guys I work with who I think of as being very good fighters or big tough SOBs, but I don't think any of them are overly violent. Keep in mind, one of the key differences between jail and the street is people have fewer rights in jail. In jail, an inmate must do things exactly as you say. If you say sit, the inmate must sit. On the street, it is not the same. You need quite a bit more before you physically sit that person (or knock that person on their arse if that's what's called for). You may have to put up with a lot more disobedience than you're used to.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Profisher View Post
                  Listen to your FTO, learn from your mistakes, and treat people with respect. I am not a senior Officer, but after working in a small agency with only one Officer and you KNOW your backup can be 20 minutes away, you learn real quick how not to escelate a situation. Your FTO will teach (or should) teach you MOST everything you need to know. If he/she observes you conducting yourself in an inappropriate manor, you will get schooled. I know I did a couple times. If you go into your FTO doubting yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure.
                  This is good advice.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                    I _thought_ I was doing the right things this whole time. Now I find myself questioning everything about how I've been doing this job and my role in the organization... just as I'm getting ready to move into the most challenging part of my career so far..
                    You MIGHT have been doing things "right" in the jail, but you are not going to be in the jail anymore. You are going to have to change certain things about the way your work if you want to be successful in your new duties.

                    Just like there are street officers who are not really good at working detention there are detention officers who can't (or won't ) make good street officers. Your job description is changing and so will your actions/outlook if you want to succeed.


                    SERIOUSLY Tank, I saw hundreds of street cops who came into Corrections ----many of them GOOD cops----who were LOUSY CO's. Plus I have been on the other side and have seen that detentions teach most officers how to talk to criminals, how to deal with people and how learn Command Presence---but some never are able to transition into street work successfully.

                    That is why you are going into Field Training. Your FTO's will show you how you need to change your methods so you can make the transition. Listen to the FTO's---------let them help you become the best patrol deputy you can be. Find a mentor in the patrol division. Someone you have looked up to during your time in the jail --- ask him/her to give you a blunt criticism of his/her opinion of you.

                    Good Luck
                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                    • #11
                      Think about this...

                      before they acted like $h!theads in the jail, they were acting like $h!theads on the street. They got there for a reason....

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