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  1. #1
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    Post Correction Officers And Police Officers.....

    Correction Officers are Law Enforcement Officers. Do you make a distinction in that a Police Officer is a Law Enforcement Officer as opposed To A Correction Officer? Do you view Correction Officers as wannabe Police Officers, Just "Guards, etc.,? Like to get your opinions.

  2. #2
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    PO and CO

    Fact of the matter is alot of POs will look down on COs. Its wrong that they do, but alot do regardless of what anyone says here. CO who work in very large metro jails and CO who work in open max prisons have very difficult and dangerous jobs and they do not get the respect their due from PO and society in general.

  3. #3
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    Yes, we make a distinction. Corrections officers are not police officers, and I would go so far as to say they are not law enforcement officers (in my jurisdiction) because they do not have arrest powers and are not required to meet POST certification.

    That being said, corrections officers have a difficult and dangerous job to do, and I would not classify them as "wannabes". Some sheriff departments require new hires to spend a certain amount of time working at the detention center before they move out to patrol.

    Kristen

  4. #4
    Don
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    Where I worked (in California) there were two distinct catagories at the county level.

    A Deputy Sheriff was a sworn peace officer, be it a custody officer, or patrol, or whatever, who was a peace officer 24/7 on or off duty. He was expected to take "appropriate action" upon witnessing a felony whether on or off duty. Before I go any further, let me state that "appropriate action" was most usually being the best witness you could be, and calling for help. You were NOT expected to "front yourself" when not on the job, unless absolutely necessary to preserve life.

    A Corrections officer on the other hand, is not considered a "sworn officer," is NOT expected to be a "cop" 24/7 and probably cannot even carry a firearm off duty, unless licensed for concealed carry.

    HOWEVER, the corrections officer truely IS a cop. He works in the "roughest neighborhood in town," unarmed inside the facility, with odds that are hugely against him. He may well be doing the exact job that a higher paid deputy sheriff does. While he is on duty, he IS a peace officer, with all the powers and responsibilities that entails. If he is working a court detail, or a transport detail, or babysitting a hospitalized inmate, he certaily will be armed. But at the end of his shift, he can go home and forget about it until time to go to work again.

    OK, I know you didn't ask for opinions, but I've never been bashful about saying what I think. I think that having the corrections officer (or detention officer) position in a county jail sucks BIG TIME. All it is, is a way for the county to save money. The C/O (orD/O) is every bit earning the same pay, as his higher paid counter part is. He just is NOT getting it.

    As for the state corrections officers, I really can't say what their peace officer powers are. But I CAN tell you that as far as I'm concerned, if you are a C/O (D/O) you certainly ARE law enforcement.

    Just Guards? Hell, man we are ALL JUST BABYSITTERS!
    6P1 (retired)

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    The question reminds me of the gentleman who lived in my neighborhood while I was growing up. He was a corrections officer, but a "supercop" of sorts. He even bought a used Kawasaki Police motorcylce when my local dept. started using Harley, and would ride around on it in his uniform. We figured he either really liked wearing his uniform, or worked really strange hours.

    :-)

    I've heard stories from some local corrections officers though... and from these, I'd say they go through a lot and deserve a lot of respect.

  6. #6
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    correctional officer 'v' police officer

    The following says alot:

    Roll Call

    Just as the men and women in blue attend roll call before their tour of duty, so do we, but instead of being armed with pistols, we are armed with whistles.
    Just as the men and women in blue, we too do not know if we will greet our loved ones at the end of the day.
    It takes a correctional officer to deal with society's undesirables, the overcrowding of prisons, the thanklessness of the public and to efficiently carry out the duties of a job that so many criticize and so little want.
    During our tour of duty not only are we correctional officers we are also; police officers, firepersons, suicide watch, coroners, nurses, counselors, computer operators, mailpersons, newspaper delivery persons, the united parcel service, and more......
    And with all of this in mind at the beginning of our tour...
    We will stand tall beneath our hats.
    With pride we wear our shields.
    And with unity, integrity, and professionalism,
    Like soldiers we march side by side into our unpredictable institutions both
    Bonafide and qualified to handle any situation that may erupt.

    Author Unknown

    We all are a team, We all work to protect the public in our own way, if it wasn't for All of Us, what would the world be like?

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    correctional officer

    "Double tap" deleted.
    Last edited by Don; 07-08-2003 at 12:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Lt.

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    The distinction is even made in Officer .Com. It is ashame that it does not say Patrol officer.Com or K-9 Officer.com or even Booking Officer .com it has said Officer.com
    Anyone can be critical of all the different divisions of law enforcment but what it comes down to is that we all need each other to make it work. With the few that try to promot their job as being the most important look at Law Enforcment with blinders and only think of themselves
    Have even recieved a E-mail from one of the moderators of the forums telling me that I was less than a law officer. I have been trying to get my restricted access back which I had when i joined. It was soft soaped alittle but it still reads the same as second class LEO.
    name with held to protect
    Under current policies, correctional staff are not eligible for RA clearance, unless they hold a sworn position with powers of arrest. I know there are good arguments for allowing corrections personnel, but that is the current policy.

    and what is really strange is that all the moderators are not in law enforcment.
    Last edited by king310; 07-08-2003 at 02:09 AM.
    RULE FOR A HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL LIFE:. Don't hang around with whiners and complainers.

  9. #9
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    All existing policies related to who gets where will be revisited in the near future. We will ensure security in the various restricted access areas, and also be fair.

    Thanks

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    PM for Technical Support or visit our contact page.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by king310
    Have even recieved a E-mail from one of the moderators of the forums telling me that I was less than a law officer. I have been trying to get my restricted access back which I had when i joined. It was soft soaped alittle but it still reads the same as second class LEO.
    Although I have only been a mod for a few months, I have NEVER heard any of the staff that I worked with refer to, or imply that, CO's being second-class citizens.

    Under current policies, correctional staff are not eligible for RA clearance, unless they hold a sworn position with powers of arrest. I know there are good arguments for allowing corrections personnel, but that is the current policy.
    Again I have never heard that, but I will post this in the Staff Room and get back to you.

    and what is really strange is that all the moderators are not in law enforcment.
    With the exception of Cygnus/OfficerDotCom, ALL of the moderators that have been here since the beginning of the year (right before I was promoted to moderator) are either current or retired LEO's.

  11. #11
    Old Salt

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    Every jurisdiction is different as it pertains to Peace Officer / LEO status for Detention / Corrections staff. The job is tough, and I know a lot of police officers that wouldn't do the job without a gun. Just like cops, the few bad apples (like the guy riding around on his Harley) give the rest of these professionals a bad name. Would all of NYPD like to be judged by the "buddy boys"? or NOPD for Ms. Franks? Regretfully, the public, and a lot of officers like to paint with a broad brush.

    I have worked both sides of the walls, as a street cop, and in jails. The hours are just as bad, the persons you deal with are obviously not the best caliber, and your fellow criminal justice professionals don't give you the respect you deserve, frequently calling you "wannabes".

    I wrote a post recently regarding ethics on the Big House board seeking input, and received some interesting ideas. I think that if some officers would really take the time to talk with a CO or DO, they would find that many parts of the job are similar, and that the ethical dilemmas and such are very similar. Yes, there are distinct differences, but that is what makes them unique.

    My agency for years started all staff out in the jail division. We now use Detention Staff. My experience has shown that those that started out in the jails / prisons in general dealt better with people, use force more judiciously, think on their feet better, and usually remember EVERYBODY they ever dealt with in the criminal world.

    True, I would rather put crooks in jail than babysit them, but the job does have its rewards. Thanks for the opportunity to vent!
    "A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood." Lt. Gen. George S. Patton

  12. #12
    Deputy757
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    Sticking to the original question. Yes, I make a distinction between police officer and corrections officer. Yes, I consider them both to be law enforcement officers. No, I don't view CO's as "wanna-be's". I think CO's have just as tough a job as we do. I don't envy them one bit and would treat them just as I would another LEO out on the street.

  13. #13
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    I work along side POs and COs in my position in the Identification Bureau.

    The COs are Sworn Officers who just got the FOP to represent them in contract negotiations and whanot.

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    I think that I could lend a little expertise on this subject. In the last year I went from a non-sworn DO position in one state to a sworn Deputy Sheriff position in Colorado. Before I was considered just a Detention Officer, now everyone says i'm a cop. Right now as a new Deputy I am assigned (gag) to the jail. The only difference that I can see between the two jobs is: 1, more training for a Deputy, more pay for a Deputy, more respect by civilians for a Deputy. It is kind of funny, I am literally doing the same job as before, but when I used to tell people I was a DO, the reaction was kind of "oh", now it is like "instant respect, just add power". People act around you in a different way when they find out your a cop, even though I am doing the exact same job (I guess it is the added power thing). What is the difference between a CO/DO and a cop? certainly not the type of person. Cops who look down on CO/DOs have serious ego problems, they are no better then CO or DOs. In fact, for what I have seen, cops who have started out in a detentions/corrections field make better cops (not in all cases). After all, I deal with hundreds of the worst scum humanity has to offer, in only one 12 hour day. How many street cops can say that?

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    Define "real law enforcement officer" ?

    When a citizen or fellow officer makes ignorant comments like that, their is usually a reason for it.

    ignorance or ego? so which is it?
    -pint
    The only way to survive in the police department is to be anonymous, because if they can point you out for some reason, then they can attack you. Cops operate out of fear and jeopardy. In the police department power is based on rank, not intelligence.
    -MOTHERS MAXIM-BILL MCCARTHY RET.NYPD.

  16. #16
    Road Dog

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    The job of a CO is different from the job of a police officers. You are comparing apples and oranges. If they aren't certified and sworn law enforcement officers by state code then they aren't law enforcement officers in that state. In my state all the jails are run by the Sheriff and are staffed by deputies. I trained side by side with the deputies in the academy and they were sworn in with me. They are law enforcement officers. Correctional Technicians are not law enforcement officers in this state.

    I have a great deal of respect for what people do in jails in prisons, I know it is dangerous and not easy. But they aren't police officers and I'm not a deputy sheriff in a jail. State code defines what qualifies as law enforcement officer.
    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

  17. #17
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    as posted:

    "Correction Officers are Law Enforcement Officers. Do you make a distinction in that a Police Officer is a Law Enforcement Officer as opposed To A Correction Officer? Do you view Correction Officers as wannabe Police Officers, Just "Guards, etc.,? Like to get your opinions"

    I think he's asking if you consider a CO to be a sworn member of the law enforcemnt community or just a "wanna-be". I think he's asking about your personal opinion.

    Now VA Code considers "law-enforcement officer" to mean any FT or PT employee of a PD or SO, any Conservation Officer, Game Wardens, Jail officers in local and regional correctional facilities, ALL DEPUTY SHERIFFS, whether assigned to law enforcement duties, court services, or local jail responsibilities, AUX PO's, AUX SO's, etc. etc. in 18.2-57 (E). I guess you would argue that this is a mistake in the code-book since many of these officers are not DCJS-LEO certified.

    Criminal Justice community is made up of a wide array of people from your local street cop to your judge, attorney, CO's, Probation/Parole officer, etc. etc. ALL OF THEM play a role in the enforcement of law and order and in my opinion ALL OF THEM are "REAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS". Now i think that addresses the original posters question as it was asked. Not, "my codebook says i'm the only real LEO because i'm DCJS-LEO certified".
    -pint
    The only way to survive in the police department is to be anonymous, because if they can point you out for some reason, then they can attack you. Cops operate out of fear and jeopardy. In the police department power is based on rank, not intelligence.
    -MOTHERS MAXIM-BILL MCCARTHY RET.NYPD.

  18. #18
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    I agree that the two jobs are apples and oranges. I have a lot of respect for corrections officers, they have a difficult job and I wouldn't want any part of it.

    Having said that, I don't regard them as law enforcement per se. Difficult as it is, their job is to contain and keep inmates in a certain area. Law enforcement is just that, enforcing laws out on the street. We are all part of the justice system and they perform a valuable and necessary service. But being part of the justice system is not synomous with law enforcement.

    I know a number of corrections officers, (years ago dated a female corrections officer) and although most are doing that job because they want to, I have come across a significant number who have tried to pass themselves off as police officers. I have never seen a police officer try to pass him/herself off as a corrections officer.
    Jim
    "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

  19. #19
    JKT
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    Lightbulb

    From the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
    Art. 2.12. [36] [43] [44] Who are peace officers
    The following are peace officers:
    (1) sheriffs, their deputies, and those reserve deputies who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;
    (2) constables, deputy constables, and those reserve deputy constables who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;
    (3) marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village, and those reserve municipal police officers who hold a permanent peace officer license issued under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code;
    (4) rangers and officers commissioned by the Public Safety Commission and the Director of the Department of Public Safety;
    (5) investigators of the district attorneys', criminal district attorneys', and county attorneys' offices;
    (6) law enforcement agents of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission;
    (7) each member of an arson investigating unit commissioned by a city, a county, or the state;
    (8) officers commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, or Subchapter E, Chapter 51, Education Code;
    (9) officers commissioned by the General Services Commission;
    (10) law enforcement officers commissioned by the Parks and Wildlife Commission; (continuted)
    I am a Deputy Sheriff. I hold a Peace Officer License AND a County Jailer License. I worked the street for 5 years or so, then went to work as a Deputy in the Detention Division. Most Sheriff's Departments in Texas have Jails or Detention Facilities, and employ Deputies. The majority of the Deputies working in Jails, etc., are Licensed as County Jailers.

    There are, however, some Departments who will have a small contingent of Licensed Peace Officers working in their Detention Division for transports, etc.

    My Department does both. Of our Detention Staff, about 35 to 40% are Peace Officers, and quite a few of them will work security jobs in their time off.

    So, to answer the intitial question: There are both, here.

    A lot depends on the proffessionalism of the individual Officer and the Department as to how they are perceived, and, yes, we have had a few Detention Officers that have tried to pass themselves off as Peace Officers. The good thing is that they didn't last very long.
    Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

    Jack

    JKT@copmail.com

  20. #20
    Don
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    Having said that, I don't regard them as law enforcement per se. Difficult as it is, their job is to contain and keep inmates in a certain area. Law enforcement is just that, enforcing laws out on the street.


    So just who DOES do the LAW ENFORCEMENT in your jails? Laws are broken in a custody setting every day. Who is it that is responsible for investigating those violations, and dealing with them? My guess is, it is those guys who are actually WORKING custody, whether they be called "deputy" "corrections officer" or "detention officer."
    6P1 (retired)

  21. #21
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    In our jail, infractions by inmates are investigated by sworn deputy sheriffs or Department of Corrections correctional investigative services officers (also sworn and POST certified, but powers are limited to inmates and DOC employees), not corrections officers.

    So now "judges, attorneys, probation officers, et al" are REAL LEOs because they work in the criminal justice system? Should I consider the 400 lb. court clerk, dispatchers, and everyone who ever served on a jury in that broad brush as well? Here is my state's definition of "law enforcement officer": A policeman, deputy sheriff, deputy constable and other official who has authority as such official to make arrests.

    Nobody is bagging on corrections officers. It is a difficult, dangerous job...nobody has called them wannabes or any other slurs, so I don't see where all the anger is coming from. It is a fact, however, that they are not required to meet the same standards as LEOs, and they do not have arrest powers. That is where the "apples and oranges" part comes in. If you want to go out and arrest people and put 'em in jail, become a police officer. If you want to keep 'em line once they get there, become a corrections officer. Right now I work part-time as a civilian investigator at my department and I do EVERYTHING the officers in my unit do except swear out felony warrants. Am I an LEO? NO. I lost that status when I turned in my badge and gun to return to school. If I identified myself to a citizen as a peace officer and did an act in furtherance, I would go to jail for impersonating a peace officer. So would a corrections officer. (In my state, can't speak for others).

    Kristen

  22. #22
    Don
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    Kristen, I don't see any anger in this thread. I see an on-going discussion, which is what a forum is for.
    6P1 (retired)

  23. #23
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    as posted:

    So now "judges, attorneys, probation officers, et al" are REAL LEOs because they work in the criminal justice system? Should I consider the 400 lb. court clerk, dispatchers, and everyone who ever served on a jury in that broad brush as well?

    ok i get it now. I am a real LEO since i am a patrol deputy. However, CO's, probation officers, etc. etc. are not real law enforcement officers. Thanks for setting me straight.
    -pint
    The only way to survive in the police department is to be anonymous, because if they can point you out for some reason, then they can attack you. Cops operate out of fear and jeopardy. In the police department power is based on rank, not intelligence.
    -MOTHERS MAXIM-BILL MCCARTHY RET.NYPD.

  24. #24
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    Don,

    Investigations within the jail are done by regular county deputies.. Corrections officers are not deputies.

    Jim
    "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

  25. #25
    Don
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    Ok Jim, point taken. That was the same in our county, as far as investigations. However the CO's certainly "hung a lot of paper" on things they observed, made arrests in custody, did court testimony. In other words when they were on duty, they were peace officers. But only when they were on duty. There were things they did not do. They could not be shift supervisors, they could not sit on the discipline boards.

    But for the most part, they did the same job the deputies did. They did routine searches, prisoner escort, etc. I worked in a small facility, less than 100 inmates (at least usually.) We ususally only had one deputy working per shift (other than weekdays) along with two or three corrections officers, a civilian booking clerk and a civilian dispatcher.

    OTOH, I can remember being the ONLY one on duty in the jail before we got the new facility. One deputy, one civilian matron, and one dispatcher. (shudder)

    Anyway, the system of having deputies and co's both working the jail is not one that I agree with. (Not that anyone ever asked me) But you can wind up with an awful lot of hard feelings because you have folks doing the same work, at different rates of pay. You also do not have the built in coverage for field emergencies. You can't just pull a couple of folks out of the jail to fill in when the excrement hits the oscillator.
    Last edited by Don; 07-12-2003 at 12:49 AM.
    6P1 (retired)

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