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I'm Here for the Money..

 

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Female user mta7035 33 posts

DT, you belong to a brotherhood. Civilians who have never thought about what it takes to be free or safe other than the fact that somebody else does all the dirty work, will indeed never understand what we go through to do our jobs. You do not only what they pay you to do, you do what you know to be right, moral and honest. You hit the nail on the head when you said time and circumstances do change ones perspective. I certainly know that when I got into nursing more than 30 years ago things were different. I had time to really help my patients, I was more than a pill pusher who never seems to make a patient happy. What I had to do was change my focus while being true to myself, my coworkers and my profession

 
Isr DT Instructor 108 posts

Like I said I do what they pay me to do. I’m not going anywhere and I’ll never let my guard down. 2 tours in Iraq and 12 years of this make it almost impossible not to be hyper-vigilante. All I was saying is it’s not like it was in the early days of my career, too much has changed. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up or don’t work hard, just now have a different perspective on it. Civilians will NEVER understand us or respect us for what we do, it just won’t happen.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

amen to that and I’ll have to listen to that song

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Thanks MTA. I love a song by Aaron Tippin. It says you have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. What you do today you have to sleep with tonight. Very good song and very true. I want my kids and grand kids to always be proud of me. I want to be their role model and hero. I don’t want them worshipping anyone but GOD. I don’t want them to idolize TUPAC.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

Nowadays morals, strong morals are hard to come by. Honesty and integrity should be a part of every individuals character but more so for those in the law enforcement field. I think you have to live the life you want to be remembered for long after your gone. Loved your post, commander.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

Good point MTA. Agree with you. I retired knowing that I didn’t fall for any of the pit falls. Happily married then and still am. I didn’t get my honey where I got my money. I seen so many Supervisors fall into that trap to have it bite them in the ass later. I don’t judge other people but, when I pinned the gold bar on, it didn’t change my morals, honor or integrity. I was the same person just had a lot more responsibility. I was in a position to make some positive changes and did.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

@DT, just remember that you are not alone. There are others who feel as you do and who get stressed too. What you are is an unsung hero. No one thinks about correctional officers or anyone who works in jails/prisons when they think of heroes. People always think of policemen and firemen. We’re doing a vital job and we have to remember that we ARE vital to keeping society safe. Keep doing the best job you can so that at the end of the day you can look yourself in the mirror proudly and honestly and know that you did your best to make a difference.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

DT stick with the job of being a correction officer. I know it’s a pain in the rear everyday and the stress sometimes is very difficult to handle but if you can be professional on the job, ignore the idiots (COs and inmates alike) stay safe you will be glad of your accomplishments. The unfortunate fact is jobs are very scarce out there and we do get decent money for the dangerous jobs we do as COs. Stick with it. Stay safe.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Good for you MTA. I think any civilian staff has to be dedicated to work in a jail or prison including teachers and medical staff. Obviously it’s not like working at a doctor’s office or clinic where they at least are respectful and really in need of medical care. I always tried to give the nurses a heads up if the meds were being abused by inmates, not taken or the inmate seemed to be acting disoriented, etc.

 
Female user mta7035 33 posts

The “i’m here for the money” attitude happens in every field. I’ve been in the medical field for more than 30 years and I can’t tell you how hard it has been for me to keep doing what I love when I hear the constant whining of “how hard things are”, “why should I work harder, no one cares anyway”. I am currently a team administrator in a county detention center and watch C.O.‘s with inmates and find it hard to tell who I can trust to help me understand what an inmate needs medically. I’m not meaning that they are to diagnose any problems, but they can tell me when an inmate acts unusual so that I can make a clear diagnosis for treatment.. Some of my nurses come with the attitude that whatever they do it doesn’t matter because “after all they’re only inmates”. I work hard every day to remind my staff and any correctional staff that every inmate could be one of our own family members and remind them to think about how they would want their family members treated. I know that I’m not it for the money, I took almost a 50% paycut to do something I love.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

I agree with DT. When I left, morale was very low. You can only try so much with positive re-enforcement. I tried my best to make sure that the Officers heard from me directly that they were doing a great job. I always let them know how important they were and how much I cared about how well they were doing. DT, it sounds like your plate is full. I, too was an Instructor, Security Issues, Advanced STG, Chemical Munitions, Key Control, ICS. Before the riot in 1993, I was a member of what was called the DCT. I know how close the team is with each other. I have a lot of respect for the SRT. They go through a lot of training and are always on call. One of my fellow Lt’s was the SRT leader at SOCF and had 3 other Lt’s on the team. Those guys have done so much for both DR&C and for the local communities. Had a stand off in Portsmouth they responded to. They also responded to Parson’s escape from the Ross Co. jail. 100 degrees each day they were up there. You guys have my utmost respect. Keep doing what you do DT. If no one else tells you, hear this from me, guys like you made my job as a shift Lieutenant so much easier. You guys always policed yourselves and each other. From an Old School Supervisor’s perspective, I never enjoyed doing discipline on any employee (except the bad ones), always tried to give a good old fashioned butt tearing first. I depended on guys like you to keep the “noise down.” So if you feel the Supervisors are demanding too much from you, it is because they trust and respect you and need people like you to make it click. Thanks for all you do.

 
Isr DT Instructor 108 posts

Morale is at an all time low across the board in corrections. Like Slim said it pays the bills and the benefits are decent. I used to love my job and looked forward to every day. Now? Well I come in and look forward to the end of my shift. As far as being more apt to bring in contraband for the inmates, “you’ve got me ****ed up with somebody else”. I do what they pay me to do and I teach Unarmed Self Defense, cell extraction, immobilizing restraints and I’m on the SRT team. The inmates know what I’m about and so do most of the staff. It used to be a lifestyle, but now it’s just a job……

 
Male user commander 277 posts

When I became a Supervisor I would make rounds and catch them reading and they would smile and keep reading. I would have them relieved and bring them up to the office. Hand them a copy of the Standards of Employee Conduct and have them read that. Or just the rules that apply to what I caught them doing. It usually worked well. However, one day an Officer looked up to me and said, “You used to be cool.” I replied, “when I was an Officer I always told my partner to not read and do his job but, I couldn’t make him. Now I can.”

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Good comments Slim and Canus…I always got frustrated going onto a dorm or floor seeing the floor officer sitting on his or her rear doing nothing other than reading a book, playing games on the computer or on the phone talking to a friend. Before I was a supervisor I used to drop a hint to them that they better get going on doing the job before the supervisor came on the floor or dorm. When I was a supervisor they knew if I saw them goofing off they would be called into the office and given a counseling. The scary thing about these officers is you wonder if something goes bad on the floor or dorm are they going to sit on their ass and do nothing or respond like they are supposed to. Luckily there are not many of these officers in a facility but if you see one it needs to be addressed.

 
Untitled Slim 57 posts

There are always those people in any place of employment that are lazy and don’t want to do their part. Unfortunately, in corrections there are also those that care more about being excepted by the inmate population more than their peers. Also unfortunately in corrections, staff are often unwilling to hold their peers acountable for these types of behavior. While no one wants to get their partners in trouble, I have usually had no problem asking my partner to do their share of the work. If my partner’s behavior is such that he can get in trouble or be a danger to others, it’s a shame if you do not at least give him a warning of the outcome of his actions. At least you know you tried to save his job when he gets fired.

As a supervisor I’ve always preached teamwork to my staff, and tell them often that if we all do a little, then no one has to do alot. Those staff members that do not get with the program for some reason get more assignments from me than the ones who seem to work without needing to be told to do so. They usually get the picture, or ask for a job in another area. Either way, my yard runs smooth.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

On that one point you are right Slim.I should not be hard on some of the officers that are trying to cope with the job.Here in NJ getting into corrections is a step up in earning for some of us.I didn’t write in my first post that I also knew of some officers,coming from a background where good paying jobs are hard to find had used corrections to further their education,college degree.Some after years of hard work and overtime have put down payment on homes,but still you have those few rotten apples as I like to call them have used the job and the lure of bringing contraband in to further their greed,they eventually get caught.

 
Untitled Slim 57 posts

I’ve heard many officers say they are only here for the money. Corrections is a stressfull job, and many officers take on a “who cares” type of attitude. I think much of the time it is a reaction to the stresses of job that can put you in a terible situation at any moment. Sometimes it’s hard not to become so stressed that you have to find a demeanor and attitude that nothing can bother you or rattle you. Both inmates and staff can see when someone can become rattled and take advatage of that person.

I myself have told inmates, when they ask me how I can do this job, that I do it to pay the bills. I for one will stop coming to work the day they stop paying me, but that doesn’t mean that while I’m here that I won’t do my job to the best of my ability, or be one of the first to respond when my partner needs me. So don’t be to hard on an officer who may only trying to cope in a harsh enviroment.

 
Male user Canusxiii 116 posts

I’m here for the money.If I heard those words from any officer I work with I would tend to doubt his ability to do the job.
Where I am right now NJ,I haved meet officers that tended to live beyond their means,“Steak and Lobster”instead of “Burgers and Fries”.Those officers are usually the ones that get caught up in the inmates games.They think they can make a couple of Gs,about a couple of thousand and just walk away.From what I seing they get caught.
Me,I took this job after I was lay-off from my old company.I am happy to had a job in these economy times and also know there is more to the job them money.Benefits,Health insurance,and helping others even under difficult conditions at times.I might had a Devil may care attitude but I take pride knowing I did a good job.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

To my knowledge most law enforcement agencies and corrections do not inquire about a prospective officers personal wealth, credit history or real estate holdings. Correction officers who are initially hired part-time get lower wages than full time officers and less hours. Once an officer is hired full time they get all benefits including full medical, dental, eye and life insurance paid plus 13 paid holidays, sick time. Later as the years accumulate officers get incentive pay for each year of service, wage scale increments after 10 years, 15 years and 20 years and of course overtime at a higher rate per hour, plus paid vacations. Officers who get into the slippery slope of helping inmates obtain contraband in exchange for money probably are not those “Im here for the pay” officers at all. They are younger, less experienced officers who fall prey to the inmates working them to do favors in return for money.

 
Male user isurvived 1 post

Just a question – but can the same officers who are “just there for a paycheck” be more apt to be bought off as well? Is there a financial screening of officers prior to hiring?

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

You are absolutely correct. Luckily there are not many correction officers who are so lackadaisical on the job but the ones that are really are a danger to other officers. I also have seen supervisors appointed not for their academic and experience but by the “good buddy” system which means the superintendent ignored the suggestions of the oral hearing board and hired his favorite person as a supervisor. The lazy, narcissistic I am here for the money CO somehow bumps into a supervisory position and is more of a jerk that he/she was when they were with the rest of us.

 
Female user dg19713 1 post

I believe that being there for only money is a sad reason to work in any position within a correctional facility. Not only is that type of attitude dangerous for both staff and offenders but it also, continues to shed a bad light on those of us that love working in the prisons. What is worse from what I have seen through out my years of working with this population many (not all) of those that have this attitude are the ones that get promoted but yet can’t even do their jobs properly. This is one of the reasons why the prisons are like they are now.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Its so easy for an officer to be lackadaisical. Supervisors can’t watch hundreds of cameras at a time and unless another officer witnesses these “I’m here for the pay” employees you might not be aware what they are NOT doing. When the crap hits the fan because an inmate hangs up and that officer really didn’t do a block check (just wrote it in the logbook) then the supervisor and everyone above gets involved and a full investigation begins. I have witnessed officers sit in their chair ignoring inmates who called for a CO several times, dismissing it as an annoyance. Sometimes that call for a CO is a real emergency.

 
Male user commander 277 posts

When I retired, I knew that I had done the best job I could. I went above and beyond most employees. I had a lot of Officers that worked for me and I can say those types didn’t last long. Some of the suicides we had that were successful, were being watched by the only here for the money types. When checking the cameras, it was apparent that they did not complete the required rounds. Other Officers would say I feel bad for them, not only do they lose their jobs, but everything they own. I would tell them, I don’t feel bad for them. They chose to do or not do their jobs properly. I had no problem starting the discipline on them. They were not taught that way. They chose to take a chance. You are so right. It is down right dangerous to relieve those types or have them work for you. They have no problem hanging anyone out to dry.

 
Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Have you ever heard a fellow officer say, “I’m here for the money.” I have and it took me back for a few minutes after I repeated his statement back to him and he said that the reason he stayed as a correction officer was money, nothing else. Putting his time in. If you are a career officer what chilling effect does this type of officer put on you as a professional? Do you want to be the next shift officer that replaces this CO who is there for the money and nothing else? What kind of attitude does he have toward his job, probably nonchalant, careless and negligent. An officer who is this type of person doesn’t do their job properly, they don’t do rounds, they ignore calls from the block or tier, they only do the minimum in an incident report. If you know an officer that has this attitude you need to be very careful of what you say to them and at the same time be extra vigilant on the job while in the same duty area, tier, etc.

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