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Will leaving CO job hurt me?

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  • Will leaving CO job hurt me?

    So, I'm currently a CO at my county's correctional facility. I'm doing well in terms of my job performance, but the thing is, I, and most of my colleagues, are miserable there. The supervisors and administrators treat us terribly; even when legitimate grievances are brought up, we're reminded that we can be easily replaced and if we don't like how things are done, we need to find a new job. Also, the corruption and incompetence among the line officers is out of control and nothing is done about it. Morale and turnover are so bad that the prison, desperate for new officers, doesn't even drug test new applicants! It's literally easier to get hired with us than it is to get hired at Wal Mart. Not even joking! To make matters worse, pretty much all the county and state correctional facilities around me have issues that are just as bad, if not worse.

    With the pay, I can barely make ends meet, even with overtime, which currently, is largely unavailable. Our next union contract is, according to the shop steward, likely to net only a 15 to 18% raise over the next 3 years at most (and possible that we'll only see 10% or less).

    On top of this, the bad air quality has led to me having constant respiratory problems, and the food that's served (which we have to eat as we're not allowed to bring in outside food) is often spoiled and has made myself and many others sick.

    All in all, if I could leave tomorrow, I would. My ultimate goal would be to try for a police job (again) or deputy sheriff. But as the process is long and there's no guarantees, I'm afraid I'm going to be stuck in this miserable place if I don't do something soon. So, I'm looking at jobs with better pay both somewhat related to LE (security, loss prevention, investigations, etc) and others that are not (sales, etc.). Anything to get me out, and maybe onto a better schedule that will allow me to either A) pick up a part time police job on the side or B) at least allow me to be in better physical and mental condition for testing for full time jobs.

    My question is, if I were to leave corrections for the above reasons, would that be a black mark/red flag on my background? Again, I can handle the stress of the job itself just fine, but I need better pay in a less corrupt and toxic environment. I just don't want to completely ruin my chances for my future dream job.
    "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
    -Chris Rock

  • #2
    It isn’t bad to just resign if conditions are that bad.
    Last edited by RGDS; 06-23-2018, 11:00 PM.
    semper destravit

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    • #3
      If you want to go LE, then do it. It might be better to gut it out while you're in the application process and get hired on somewhere instead of quitting and then trying to get hired. The old saying, it's easier to get a job when you have a job.

      Plenty of guys in my academy were former CO's that got hired on by a PD. Just don't burn any bridges where you are now.

      Security and loss prevention jobs in the meantime will do nothing for your career. Try not to be sour when describing your current position. Do you only want to go LE just to get out of your job now, or is it your passion? Everyone already knows jails/prisons are miserable work for the most part.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by clof2001 View Post
        The old saying, it's easier to get a job when you have a job.

        . Just don't burn any bridges where you are now.

        Security and loss prevention jobs in the meantime will do nothing for your career. Try not to be sour when describing your current position.

        .
        Read this a couple times.

        Law Enforcement is hard enough on your soul without having to deal with what you are describing at work.

        Get out of there if you can find a better job AND a job that can pay your bills

        I will tell you that getting a 10 to 18 percent raise in the next 3 yrs is WELL above the national average for LE....................



        Originally posted by clof2001 View Post
        Everyone already knows jails/prisons are miserable work for the most part.
        ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE
        After spending 30 yrs out of my 42 yrs of LE experience in the prison system I will tell you that Corrections can be a very rewarding career
        What GangGreen talks about is the exception not the rule
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

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

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        • #5
          Rotten management, rotten co-workers, and you have to eat rotten food. I can't imagine a worse job (except maybe Bangkok sewer cleaner).

          You just need to get out of there.

          RE: your co-workers. For a spell, I worked in the rural south where a state prison had recently been built out in the middle of a cornfield. Being the south, you'd often see 20 prisoner chain gangs (maybe no chains but everyone in a line with a CO on each end holding a 12 gauge). What always struck me was how the COs and prisoners were basically on the same radio frequency. They'd be on the side of a road, cutting grass or picking up trash in 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity, and the COs and prisoners would be yabbering away like it was a day at the beach. The COs would even call the prisoners by their street names- "Hey Q, you missed a spot!" or "Big D, pick up those sickles." The impression I often got was if circumstances were different, they'd all be BBQing and playing cornhole and drinking beers, instead of standing in the weeds with the bugs and snakes in that hot sun.
          Thousands of people have talent. I might as well congratulate you for having eyes in your head. The one and only thing that counts is: Do you have staying power?

          -Sir Noel Coward

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          • #6
            Most people dream about pay raises like that.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              Most people dream about pay raises like that.
              That's what the union is asking for. Whether or not we get it is another question.

              At the end of the day though, if it was just about the money and I was happy with the job otherwise, I wouldn't be here asking this question. After reading some of the responses here, I'm feeling a bit better about branching out and looking for better places to work, LE and otherwise. If I left the jail, as bad as the supervisors can be, there's a couple I trust enough to give me a great reference, and the ones I don't trust I, as of yet, have never crossed. I only have called off sick once (and I was legitimately very sick!), never been written up, and have had all positive performance reviews. So it sounds like if I just look for something, anything, that would be a better work environment, I should be okay for my future LE aspirations.
              "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
              -Chris Rock

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              • #8
                If you are not a commissioned LEO now, it really doesn't matter where you work. If you are not happy, leave. Nothing wrong with looking for a better opportunity. The important part of the BI process is that your record reflects that you were a solid employee -- it doesn't matter whether you are a CO, or you delver pizzas, you want your boss to say that you are a good worker and they would hate to see you go.

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                • #9
                  Honestly, CO experience is not going to make or break you in terms of getting a LE job with most agencies........save possibly a few Sheriff's Offices where you will be working corrections (maybe). As is stated above what is more important is having a stable employment history, free of disciplinary action, and good references from former employers/supervisors. I would suggest you try to find something else while you are looking. If that place is as much of a Charlie foxtrot as you say you could inadvertently find yourself in a multitude of bad situations. In addition don't be stuck on staying up north and trying to get into LE. All of the major cities in the south are hiring like hotcakes and the cost of living is less when compared to the salary. Poke around and see what any of the following cities offer, which I'm sure is better than where you are now.

                  Houston
                  Dallas
                  San Antonio
                  Austin
                  New Orleans
                  Atlanta
                  Memphis
                  Nashville

                  All of the cities above are hiring in mass and most (if not all) have compressed testing for out of town applicants.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dream34 View Post
                    Honestly, CO experience is not going to make or break you in terms of getting a LE job with most agencies........save possibly a few Sheriff's Offices where you will be working corrections (maybe). As is stated above what is more important is having a stable employment history, free of disciplinary action, and good references from former employers/supervisors. I would suggest you try to find something else while you are looking. If that place is as much of a Charlie foxtrot as you say you could inadvertently find yourself in a multitude of bad situations. In addition don't be stuck on staying up north and trying to get into LE. All of the major cities in the south are hiring like hotcakes and the cost of living is less when compared to the salary. Poke around and see what any of the following cities offer, which I'm sure is better than where you are now.

                    Houston
                    Dallas
                    San Antonio
                    Austin
                    New Orleans
                    Atlanta
                    Memphis
                    Nashville

                    All of the cities above are hiring in mass and most (if not all) have compressed testing for out of town applicants.
                    Atlanta area. North of the city, preferably.
                    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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