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  • TSA to BOP correctional officer

    i been with TSA for 3 years and kinda getting tired of it......i tried getting on with CBP but that didn't happen.......i been looking at veterans affair police and BOP CO's.

    whats it like working for the BOP.......

    FYI- i am male 5'3 and 120 lbs.......would i have a hard time dealing with the inmates and not complying cause of my size or gaining there respect

    i heard academy is only 3 weeks long.....also what is the academy like?.......how intense is it? and how is it compared to other academy's?

  • #2
    Your size and stature do not make you, your abilities make you. Believe it or not there is a lot more communicating with inmates than any use of force scenarios. Use of Force issues also depend on where yo work. The majority of Federal Prisons are low's and mediums to which you would see very little issues. There will be inmate on inmate issues but very unlikely any staff involvement. Bad stuff can happen at FCI's it just doesn't happen as often as high's like USP's. USP's you will see a little bit of everything very frequently.

    The class at Glynco is 3 weeks and they changed it recently to give a little more of an academic flare but it is still rather simple.
    Your TSA fed time will count for vacations only not for seniority or retirement due to TSA is not a FED LE 6C retirement. You will get some credit from TSA though if you transfer over however for retirement it will but it won't. It won't in the fact that you still have to do 20 or 25 years with BOP. Your TSA time sort of counts because you will get to add 3% (1% per year) to your % amount when you do retire.

    BOP is like any other Federal agency. It has some good things and some bad things. The retirement isn't half bad as long as you manage your bills and invest as much as you can in TSP. However it is a different kind of LE mission so don't think you will be making a difference because you don't' Your job is basically to keep them inside the fence and allow all staff to go home thats it period.

    If your looking for a proactive LE agency you need to look at a good State Police or Municipal agency because nowhere in any Federal LE agency will you find any of them being proactive these days other than on TV. In the real world that don't happen.

    And whether coming from TSA, Marshals, BP the Military, other state corrections or Mars keep you mouth shut because no one will care how you did it there. BOP has a few ways of doing things. A couple of those ways are better than wherever new folks came from and more of them are a whole lot worse. NO one cares. The new folks high speed way was mentioned 15 years ago and that new person was told to shut up and go color and now has a lot of seniority but can not change anything. If you can handle that then

    Good luck
    Last edited by in625shooter; 01-04-2015, 04:14 PM.

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    • #3
      what are the advantages and disadvantages of working at a male or female prison?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dangerr101 View Post
        what are the advantages and disadvantages of working at a male or female prison?
        Male facility you will see more of a real fight and female a little more drama. There are pros and cons with each. Some claim they would never work at a female institution (there are only a handful) but I know a couple male staff that transferred to a female institution and said there was not the issues (fights, use of force teams real prison issues) and liked that they were not busy.

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        • #5
          I'm a former BOP CO who left in 2011 to join the Border Patrol. I will try to answer your questions, but my info is dated.

          Originally posted by dangerr101 View Post
          i been with TSA for 3 years and kinda getting tired of it......i tried getting on with CBP but that didn't happen.......i been looking at veterans affair police and BOP CO's.

          whats it like working for the BOP.......
          It is a tough job. I worked at the state prison and a county jail before joining the BOP, so I knew what to expect when it comes to corrections. Still the BOP managed their facility much more poorly than either of the other two facilities I worked, often running minimal staffing and creating situations where COs were terribly outnumbered. Imagine being the single CO with 250 inmates.

          A USP can be a very violent place. I worked at an FCI (USP Leavenworth), and it was extremely violent there. You will see stuff that you wish you didn't see, and some days you will be frustrated beyond belief.

          FYI- i am male 5'3 and 120 lbs.......would i have a hard time dealing with the inmates and not complying cause of my size or gaining there respect
          Don't worry about your size, better to be smaller than one of the many 350+ pound COs who can barely walk to a body alarm without having a heart attack.

          i heard academy is only 3 weeks long.....also what is the academy like?.......how intense is it? and how is it compared to other academy's?
          The academy was 3 weeks of partying and drinking. Jacksonville, Savannah, and St. Simons Island were a blast. Oh and there were some classes thrown in for good measure. BTW, BOP always are the first in the chow hall at lunch time. Meanwhile all these other agencies were marching around and being all serious, wearing suits......lol

          Anyway, being a CO for 20 years just was not something that I could do. It's not that I didn't have the stomach for it, the truth was that had I stayed, I would have become one of the COs with 10+ years who literally does absolutely nothing aside from the count, and then goes home. I had zero passion for the job or the work, and all it was for me was a pay check. Even still, I did it for years, and I think it made me a better BPA.
          What is Perseverance?
          -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
          -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
          -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


          BOP - BPA - ICE

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          • #6
            Don't worry about your size. There's a lot of misconception about prisons and jails. Sure, there are situations that are violent and require you to go hands on. But for the most part, your primary tool will be your ability to communicate.

            Here's tips about law enforcement and you can even use it in your current job although the function of TSA is different than corrections or police work...Look the part. In our line of work, we get sized up every day. People will size you up to determine if you are one to be F'd with. Make sure your uniform is clean, pressed and fits properly. Consider using shirt stays. They do wonders and I personally never wear a uniform without it. Shine your boots. They don't have to be spit shined to perfection but make sure there is a decent gloss. Carry yourself professionally and interact with people appropriately...You do these things and people, inmates, etc. will know that you are serious about your job and may lead them to find a different victim.

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            • #7
              In addition to what others are saying. I literally just graduated from FLETC last friday. Some of my classmates partied every night but I made sure I got a good nights sleep so that I was alert for class. The classes are pretty fun- there is firearms, self defense, roleplay scenarios, and then powerpoints on different topics. I studied minimally and made a 83% overall. The firearms is a bare minimum familiarization course and the self defense is akido. The inmates are highly cunning and will use guile and witts to manipulate you. Very rarely will they actually try an assault a staff member.

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