Law Enforcement Specialties >> Corrections, Probation & Parole >> THE FORGOTTEN COP



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Posted about 8 years ago



What would the average citizen say if it were proposed that police officers be assigned to a neighborhood which was inhabited by no one but criminals and those officers would be unarmed, patrol on foot and be heavily out numbered? I wager that the overwhelming public response would be that the officers would have to be crazy to accept such an assignment; however, as you read this, such a scenario is being played out in all areas of the country.
We are correctional officers, not guards (who are people that watch school crossings). We work at minimum, medium and maximum security correctional facilities. We are empowered by the state to enforce its penal laws, rules and regulations of the department of corrections. In short we are policemen.
Our beat is totally inhabited by convicted felons who, by definition, are people who tend to break laws, rules and regulations. We are out numbered by as many as 50 to 1 at various times of our workday and, contrary to popular belief, we work without a side arm. In short, our necks are on the line every minute of every day.
A correctional facility is a very misunderstood environment. The average person has very little knowledge of its workings. Society sends its criminals to correctional facilities and, as time passes, each criminal's crime fades from our memory until the collective prison population becomes hordes of bad people being warehoused away from decent society in a place where they can cause no further harm. 
There is also the notion that prison inmates cease to be a problem when they are incarcerated. Correctional facilities are full of violence perpetrated by the prison population against the prison population and facility staff. Felonies are committed daily but are rarely reported. They are called “unusual incidents” and rarely result in criminal prosecution. Discipline is handled internally and, as a rule, the public is rarely informed of these crimes. In the course of maintaining order in these facilities, many officers have endured the humiliation of having urine and feces thrown at them. Uncounted correctional officers have been kicked, bitten, stabbed and slashed with home made weapons, taken hostage, murdered and even raped in the line of duty, all while being legally mandated to maintain their professional composure and refrain from any retaliation which could be the basis for dismissal from service. In addition to these obvious dangers, correctional officers face hidden dangers in the form of aids, tuberculosis, hepatitis and other communicable diseases.
Courts are now imposing longer sentences and the prison population is increasing far beyond the system's designated capacity. As the public demands more police on the street, governments everywhere are cutting police in prison where violence reins supreme, jeopardizing all of those working behind prison walls. Although you will never see us on “Rescue 911” or “Cops,” we are law enforcement professionals.
We are the “Forgotten Cops,” hidden from public view, working a dangerous beat, hoping to someday receive respect and approval from the public which we proudly and silently serve.

Author Unknown (Paraphrased)


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Rate This | Posted about 8 years ago


I have seen this in other places, and still appreciate seeing it posted. Regardless of how often it is posted, it never loses its truth.


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Rate This | Posted almost 9 years ago


Hats off to sixFORTYone for reposting this all so true story of the forgotten cop

Don't forget... the toes you step on today might be attached to the ass you'll be kissing tomorrow!


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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago


KUDOS!!!  Well said. Not only does the public have this misguided concept of what a Corrections Officer does but sadly some fellow patrol officers dont know as well.


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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago


I worked for CDOC for a little over 4 years, this a very true statement. I will always remeber my roots. Thank you for reminding those who serve in blue behind the walls.

"The mind is such futile ground for reaping the sins of our souls"