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A day in the life of.....

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  • A day in the life of.....

    For about a year, I have been applying at local PD's, with the goal of becoming a patrol officer. At the present time, I am in the hiring process for a Detention Deputy position. I realize this is quite different, and am struggling to know if this is a viable path for me to take.

    Would anyone be willing to share what a typical day is like? They said I would be armed and in a housing unit. The jail is primarily for pre-trial detainees. During my interview, they showed me video feeds of what the environment would be like. It appeared the Deputy sits at a desk, some of the time, but I just would love to know what a typical 12 hour shift is comprised of?

  • #2
    Well, first you come to the facility, you are going to get brief on the activity from previous shifts, depending in your assignment, that is how alert you will have to be. Housing unit, you probably will have to conduct the routine counts, inventory equipment, and deal with the unsolved issues from previous shift. Then if everything goes well, you will be on cruise control for the rest of the day or night. Some days, specially full moons, people like to act up and it is like they decide to do it at the same time, those days are going to be busy and will go by faster. Once in a while you might be assign to go in a Hospital run.... Desk Officer, well, you are behind the desk
    Go wildcats!

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    • #3
      Well first off it is different for each facility. I have been in Detention for four years and am now a sergeant for the jail. I took this job as a path to the road and have liked it enough to stay for a while. At my facility you come in and get briefed and they are assigned to your duty post by the shift Sergeant and you proceed to relieve the previous shift. Depending on where you are posted you work directly with the inmates or you are in central control or booking (after you have been there for a while).

      The typical desk supervises two housing units for a total of about 40-50 inmates, you are responsible for those units and all of the activities inside of them. If someone acts up you handle it unless you need back up or clearance for the supervisor otherwise it is all yours. Most of the time it goes smooth but like stated before sometimes it can be crazy. It can be an enjoyable job as far as a path to the road that is up to the department you are working at if they want to transfer you in the future, but I know a lot of people who were Detention before they went to the road including several sheriffs in my state. Any questions let me know.

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      • #4
        It really all depends on where you are at. I'm a Deputy Sheriff with the same authority as a Patrol Deputy, but I also work in a county jail. There is a difference between a Deputy Sheriff and a Corrections Officer (not saying it in a bad way, just getting it out there). It all depends on what you want to do.

        If you want to be in a state prison, I'd go the corrections route. Those guys are unreal! They deal with the same crap day after day after day.

        In a county facility, it's just usually holding anyone sentenced to a year or under, AND those waiting for their court docket to play out.

        I do pretty much the same thing that others have mentioned. Some days you might have nothing and you breeze through your shift. Other days, you're going hands on with someone. It just all depends.

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        • #5
          That is an interesting topic in itself....Detention Deputy Sheriff vs. Corrections Officer. Are there major differences? I am in the hiring process for Detention Deputy at our county detention center. It is not a certified position (at least not initially), but as a Deputy Sheriff, what authority do you have? I assume it's mostly authority inside the detention center itself, and not outside?

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          • #6
            I work in a County Detention Center myself we are not certified, however, we do have authority inside of the detention center. The difference in my state is that the Corrections Officers in our state work in the State Prisons and the Detention Officers (Deputies) work in the county facilities. We deal with pre-sentenced inmates that are awaiting trial which can last up to three years from what I have seen. We also deal with the new arrests which is when we have the most violence and suicide attempts are within the subjects first 72 hours in the jail.

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            • #7
              Like copycapt, I too am a deputy sheriff in the jail. We're really not all too different from COs as far as day-to-day stuff goes. The difference is that we have other assignments available to us such as prisoner transport and courthouse assignments. At my agency, those sorts of positions require you to be a peace officer. One major difference is that we are obviously authorized to charge inmates with outside world charges. For me, that mostly means drug and tobacco or weapon possession. For whatever reason our administration has decided that we won't charge inmates that fight with assault.

              Also I do some off-duty work that requires that I'm a peace officer. Anyone else think of something that differs between deputies and COs?

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              • #8
                Dont know too much what correctional deputies do, but CO's do a multitide of things depending on which prison you work at. We are sworn peace peace officers in our state. We have peace officer powers while on duty. We can carry off duty as long as we qualify with that weapon.
                Last edited by SkullyM; 06-16-2012, 12:49 AM.

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                • #9
                  SkullyM what state you working at?

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                  • #10
                    I work nights and they go about like this:
                    Show up and receive a briefing from previous module officer.
                    Get settled, make sure everyone is still there, and everything is still secure.
                    Pass out razors so inmates can shave.
                    Start free time for 4 hours.
                    Go to lunch.
                    Sit around for a while
                    Serve "breakfast"
                    Wait for relief and then do it again the next day.

                    Just like many other jobs, it gets monotonous if nothing is going on. There are days however, where sh*t is hitting the fan and we go non-stop all night. I am unarmed and run a unit with 70-90 close custody (violent) inmates.

                    We have other posts, like movement officers, hospital officers, transport officers, booking officers, etc. Every post is different, but what I posted is the routine of a housing unit officer.

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