Prison officers walk a tough beat, too

The legacy of Warden Ignacio:

Let's see, low morale, no phones in the towers so there will be no communication with other officers (not guards) and no contact with a sick spouse or child as one has to occasionally do. There is no muster (briefing) to give out information so the phones were our means of contact with unit officers or gun post officers which you may not want going out over the radio. There will always be those who abuse a system, but Ignacio's way was to punish all. Sure an officer or two may have smuggled a "mini-TV" in, but those things happen.

Then we have those terrible coffee makers. Imagine an officer having to have help to stay awake on the first shift (or even talking to someone on the phone!) Heavens! Microwaves; we don't need or deserve a hot meal, do we?

I want to set the record straight. Officers (not guards) have kept the community safe from escapees on a daily basis, and we protect the inmates from each other.

The escape of the amputee sounds like a comedy, doesn't it? But the facts are different than the reporting. The amputee in fact has a prosthesis and moves around quite well and this, in addition to his upper body strength, aided in the escape.

The officers were not given a punishment right away, no their wait was one year; one year of not knowing from one day to the next whether they would have a job or not. That's no Christmases, no birthdays, constant stress, little problems were amplified.

It is indeed strange how officers for years were reporting security shortcomings and a serious lighting problem in the area where the inmate escaped.

We are correctional officers, and we are proud of the work we do 24-7. Like our brothers in the sheriffs and police departments, we also walk a tough beat.


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