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Do you consider Correctional Officers to be LEO'S?

After working as a sworn in Deputy Sheriff with the job title of Dispatcher/Jailor and being sent to the academy to be certified, I now find myself a CO at a regional jail due to the Sheriff's office jail closing when 3 jurisdictions pulled together to open a new facility. My question is, do you consider CO's to be LEO's? The academy drilled into our heads that CO's should be treated with the same respect as LEO's, but in the real world there does seem to be the attitude that CO's are not considered LEO's....opinions anyone?


  • edited 19 Nov 2012
    I was a C/O for three years and in the county I worked in we were respected, however, not anything close to the respect a LEO gets. Several LEOs in booking would ask me how I could work in an environment surrounded by inmates. I know a few C/Os who became Leos, but not any Leos who wanted to be C/Os.
  • edited 20 Nov 2012
    To 115194.... LOL! I have found that to be true also. We as CO's know we are dealing with criminals and how to act accordingly. I don't think I would ever have the nerve to be a road Deputy/Officer. They have no idea what is waiting for them when they walk into a house or pull a vehicle over..God bless them and keep them safe while walking into the unknown to keep us all safe! :)
  • Short answer - Yep!
    You couldn't pay me enough to be a CO. You guys have a tough job - and bless ya for it!
  • I have the utmost respect for CO's.
  • Hats off to them I done the job for a short time.
  • I was in Corrections for 14 years. I was a Deputy Sheriff for 4 years. Both jobs were dangerous at times. But I agree with the above statements, that LEO do receive more respect from the public.
  • Thanks for the responses. I have just a little sadness about having to leave the title of Deputy and all of the respect I was shown to being a CO. You do get respect initially, until they look closer at the badge & uniform and say, "Oh, you're not a're a wanna be." I'd really like to show then how much of a "wanna be" I am, but don't want to end up where I work, LOL! :)
  • I respect you guys working the jail systems, but lets get real you know who you are dealing with all the time. As a LEO you never know who you are dealing with as you pull them over, enter there home, at least for the first five minutes or so. Just saying.
  • edited 22 Nov 2012
    I agree I stated in my Nov. 19th post (almost word for word). I give the LEO's my utmost respect!
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  • A lot of the police officers within my agency were corrections officers first, including myself. I have noticed that some of our best cops are former corrections. You pick up great skills in the jail.
  • I'm leo, and my father is a CO. He was a military cop for 20 years. I respect him for what he does and has done. He's the reason I do what I do now.
  • CO's should definitely receive more respect than they get. I do not hesitate to consider a CO and an LEO!
  • CO's-First Responders to all types of situations.. LE, EMT & Firefighters.. much respect..
  • Down here in Broward County, all of our corrections deputies wear the EXACT same uniform as patrol deputies. The only notable difference is that their badges say, "Deputy Corrections" while patrol deputies have, " Deputy Sheriff"

    Corrections also operate the exact same marked vehicles as patrol but they can't take them home like patrol deputies though.

    Also, many of our correctional deputies are "cross certified", meaning they hold certifications in both Law-Enforcement and Corrections. This is great because if they decide to leave the jail to work patrol, it's very easy to do so for the most part.

    The other notable difference, which I DON'T agree with is the difference in salary. Patrol deputies make much more than a corrections deputy. This has been an issue for as long as I can remember. Both disciplines should make equal pay in my opinion. Corrections deputies do absolutely everything patrol does, but on the inside. They investigate crimes that occurred within the facility, they charge offenders with new crimes, at times, they have to physically detain violent subjects and so on. The only major difference is there aren't any firearms in the jail (most of the time LOL) and corrections don't have any of the protective gear that patrol carries (gun, Asp. Taser, pepper spray, chucks, etc). They only possess their IP Skills, hands and a pair of handcuffs looped over their belt.

    I give corrections deputies the upmost respect. I worked in the jail for a year before coming out to the road so I know what those guys / girls to through.

    Be safe everyone.
  • I worked corrections in VA as well. I would say there was a notable difference outside the county I worked in, But the local police / sheriff were more than supportive. I think they knew first hand that if we didn't do our jobs (keeping them inside) then they would be doing their jobs (putting them inside) all over again.
  • @ COfromVA: If you worked for Denver County, aka Denver City (County and City in o ne) as a Deputy Sheriff, then you would also be a CO. In Denver County, the Sheriff office handles the jail system and facility transfers. Since the county is also the city, the city LEOs handle the rolling stuff. Even though Deputies are also LEOs and recognized as such.
  • I feel that LEO"s and CO's are different though both should be shown the same respect. It is a job I never wanted. In some states such as when I worked in NY CO's and Police Officers's had specific definitions. CO's were considered Peace Officers, the biggest difference was CO's could carry off duty, statewide and only make an arrest if a crime was committed in their presence. Where as a Police officer included all the different type such as Deputies, Troopers, etc, could off duty make an arrest for a crime whether or not committed in their presence. There was also territorial jurisdiction when on duty and no territorial jurisdiction off duty. I feel they had a good system because of the difference in training involved. However a peace officer, was still at least to protect a person when off duty. That was good. I do not know what changes there may be but if their are any I hope they are good ones.
  • In this state they are not sworn and don;t have powers of arrest so I do not think of them as LEO's. The Deputies work the jails as well to cover needed LEO duties.
    BUT they do get my respect. Tough job dealing with the turds we bring them.
  • Thank you to all the first responders of the public. It brings me great joy to read some positive reviews, that correctional peace officers are considred, for the most part, L.E.O's. We state correctional peace officers in California are CPOST certified, and when inmates are suing the Dept. The courts system calls us L.E.O's. But the public, and a few "Highway Patrolmen," call us security guards. Thank you to all my partners in Law Enforcement for keeping us in high regards. Be Safe and God Bless.
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  • In our county, many people do not consider COs as LEO because everyone from the cooks at the jails are sworn. It's really hard to look at a cook as an equal to a LEO.
  • edited 1 Dec 2012
    No, co's deal with controlled people without weapons and etc. Police officers risk their lives everyday and keep our communities safe. Totally different!!!
  • I would say "Yes" by definition CO's are law enforcement officers. They are officers and part of the law enforcement system. However CO's typically are not licensed Peace Officers (exceptions being if a CO gets his/her PO on his/her own time). Peace Officers have additional powers not given to CO's however they are all important parts of the LE system.
  • Nope. Nada.
  • @ Jimmysgirl ~ Controlled ~ not always. & if you don't think they have weapons, I wouldn't suggest stepping foot inside for any length of time with out a uniformed escort.

    Seriously? CO's don't risk their lives everyday?

    not sure what rock you live under but you may want to go take a tour of your local institution to educate yourself better. I am going to have to take a SWAG & say you aren't a LEO yourself...

    Ignorance is unbecoming.
  • Just thought I would weigh in on this subject and throw some factual education into the fray!

    First off, "I" can not speak for all Correctional Departments nor the the scary Private Facilities and their Officers but for those of us here in NY I would have to say YES ... "WE are Law Enforcement Officers". WE are the Largest Law Enforcement Agency in NY with somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 Corrections Officers, Corrections Sergeants, Corrections Lieutenants and Parole Officers. "WE" graduate from a 7 week Corrections Academy and go right into the fray of on the Job Training hoping to use the tools of our 7 week academy! As with any Department we do have our bad apples in both Line and Civilian Staff but what Department doesn't! How do I know you may ask, well "I "am an active 25 year NYS Lieutenant at a Maximum Security Facility! "WE" are sworn NY State Peace Officers! We qualify every year and we go through 40 hours of additional training during the course of the year. Unlike what I saw above "WE" have Felony Arrest Powers on and off duty even though our department frowns upon any actions off duty including carrying, we still have that authority! Our CERT Teams guarded the NY State Governors Mansion, the NY State Capitol and the New York City Watersheds for many years following 9/11. WE Carry on duty (Perimeter, Towers, Armed Posts, Medical Trips, Funeral Trips and Court Ordered trips and WE carry off duty because we are Peace Officers!

    Now to kind of address a few of the other misnomers I am seeing here. While we do live everyday knowing exactly who we are dealing with: Mental Degenerates, Gang Bangers, Murders, Rapist, Drug Runners, World Class Manipulators and White Collar Criminals we are expected to do same without a true knowledge of anything other than having a Crystal Clear ... High Crime Neighborhood. Need I say more? We even deal with the domestic issues and victim issues you see on the street! We see drug trade being run by the gang affiliates and while not a common occurrence and clearly on more than one occasion zip and regular hand guns have made their way into our facilities all either through "liberal" visitation or planned packaging or equipment packaging!

    We don't wear stab protective vests as a regular day to day tool and we don't wear our antiquated bullet proof vests even on our armed posts! Our first line of defense are Metal Detector "Boss" Chairs, hand scanners and walk through Metal detecting scanners. But in their ever increasing ability to beat the system Inmates are now known to have titanium and ceramic Scalpel Blades making their way into our facilities. It is not uncommon to experience a dangerous cutting of an inmate even in a lockdown situation as locked down inmates are still used as gallery porters and that good old Gang kinship or enemy list works behind the walls and razor wire with not enough line staff to get the job done to take away the gang society and eliminate the most common way to move contraband) which can be threatening to both Civilian and Line Staff alike! Our Officers and even Myself have experienced Death Threats against us and our families and wild dream Law Suits. Just as many of you on the Street, few realize just how similar our day to day efforts are, ALL in a days job!

    We are "On The Job" and "We are Law Enforcement Officers"!

    Any questions, I would be more than happy to respond!

  • im a co in boston been in the field for 13 yrs. i also appreciate all the support for the police officers on here. it is a or can be a difficult profession. i believe that somewhere down the line we do fall into law enforcement..
  • I work as a Deputy Corrections Officer, I am also a city police reserve officer. I have noticed a big difference in the way I'm treated. Before I worked in the county jail I worked in the worst prison in Washington state. I had zero respect going from prison to county, even from those that I had seniority over. They always tried to "double check" my work.

    As a reserve, I have full power of arrest, patrol alone, assist other agencies, and I do it for free. I see that I get MORE respect wearing my police uniform than wearing my county uniform.
  • As a JDO for Richland County i only have 2 years experience. What i have read in all of the posts is very helpful. Our training in Montana was only 3 weeks long but they shove a lot of stuff at ya in that short amount of time. My hat goes off to all personnel in the law enforcement profession whether working the beat, dispatch or my fellow officers in corrections
  • My career was in NJ for almost 25 years before a back injury ended it. I had a varied career, starting out on the road with the Sheriffs dept. transferred to county corrections when they took the jail from the Sheriff, then spent almost 4 years involved in training both at the local and state academy and even on a national scale, belonged to the county ert team, then back to jail as a Lt. after the injury, then retired. In NJ, both by law and their actions, CO's are LEO's. They are sworn officers and have full police powers under the same statute as all police in NJ. The only difference is title. Whether it is Police, Sheriff, Trooper or Corrections, all who take the oath, wear the uniform and pin on the shield, star or badge, are all LEO's and need to support, help and take care of each other.We ALL are the thin blue line.
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  • I'm tired of hearing people ask my husband why he didn't become a "real" police officer. He went through the same academy as all LEO and carries the same gun. Only difference is when he gets to work he has no protection from the inmates. My brothers and father are LEO's and tell him all the time they would never want his job. They couldn't handle it. He is in one of the worst if not worst jails in New Jersey and is surrounded my murderers and gang bangers all day every day, 67 maybe? Some with life sentences, some 25 or more. All of them are a risk at any time. He has arrested people while off duty. Yes my husband is a law enforcement officer. All of you be safe!!
  • Denise, very well put. =D>
  • Yes! They are like an extended arm of police officers.
  • Here in the northeast many of the state co are sworn leo
    I was a state leo before i got on a pd so there is no doubt in my mind they are leo
  • Many of my co-workers in our agency were Correctional Officers at one time. They were confined in either a state prison or a County Jail with the worst of the worst. The dredges of Society. The violent scum of the earth. Correctional officers are at risk daily, just as LEO's on the street are. They have been subjected to assaults, gassing and too many have made the ultimate sacrifice-with their lives. I could / would not do the job they do. I respect those men and women-our brothers and sisters. They are LEO.
  • I worked in Law Enforcement in my area for 12 years. We are some of the lowest paid Officers in our region. BUT, you felt good at the end of a hard worked shift. I am now a C/O with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in our area. Where I come from, the coal industry has always been king. If you worked at anything in that industry, you made a good living. Now that most of our coal jobs are closing down in this area, the coal severance money is drying up. Besides that, you have to work at least 30-35 years to earn a descent retirement. Anyway, the BOP here pays great, 20 year hazardous duty retirement, lots of benefits and a great health plan. I have put off joining there until a few weeks ago and I gotta say, it's a tough job. Definitely different than on the street but mentally tough more than anything. Of course, under LEOSA Correctional workers are considered law enforcement. Although it's a professional environment up there, it's also a melting pot of different backgrounds. Not the same comradere as on the street. Dealing with the inmates isn't the hard part.... it's just getting used to being inside all the time. I've always given respect to anyone willing to stand behind a shield of any kind and step up to the plate.
    After all, LEO's catch'em and C/O's cage'em!
  • Greetings, I am a C.O. in the panhandle of Florida. I must say first of all I admire and respect the duties of LEO's. You guys are out there on the front lines keeping us safe, and at times are in the most dangerous of situations. However, the stress of 12 hour days being confined with those whom you grace our sally ports with is a job of dangerous moments in a different way. We too, are thankful for coming home breathing each and every day. We walk among them at times with bated breath, ever watchful for any type of conflict or emotional and mental changes. The conflicts and disturbances we quail are numerous and have to be dealt with in the snap of a finger. I take my hat off to CO's that truly are dedicated to their profession. Though we have no arresting power as LEO's do, we are in the profession of keeping our community safe. We hear many times from our Chief C.O. that we are not LEO's however, I honestly believe we should be considered as such. The facility I am at is under the block of County Commissioners, purely a political move I believe, though at one time we were under the guidance of the SO's. In short, I believe the respect we as CO's get is nothing to that of which we should get. We are considered much less to the PDO's that grace us with inmates, though we dedicate to risk our lives in a closed environment rather than in the open society. We carry NO weapons in the facility, we carry or wits, mental and physical abilities as our weapons. We deal not only with the inmate whether it be a DUI, DV or an out and out murderer, but their problems (and those problems can be enormous). We also deal with Signal 20's which takes a great deal of understanding and guts. Through these statements I send my utmost respect to anyone who has taken an oath to protect society and it's people
  • First I would like to say hello. I am new here on the Thin Blue Line. I was a state CO down in North Carolina and I had a lot of respect, from the public and LEO’s.
    My family and I moved to Maryland and I became a sworn in Deputy Sheriff (CO). We had to go thru the same academy as the LEO’s except we did not get into the laws. At graduation time we stood up and were sworn in together. We did have some Deputy’s (LEO’S) who, did not like that we shared the same ceremony. They felt that they were above us. But we are all equal, we all wear the same uniform that we serve and protect 24/7 our community.
  • I'm a Correction Officer in New York. (Rikers Island)
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  • YES THEY ARE!!! My dad retired form the army with 23 yrs and a tour in viet nam in 1968 then went into corrections where he was MURDERED in the West Virginia State Prison at Moundsville, WVA. I have a degree in criminal justice / law enforcement and my brother has worked as a police officer for 30 years, my son is certified as a correctionial officer in Alabama and West Virginia. They risk their lives just like the patrol officers on the beat but their beat is with the ones already caught and convicted,
  • Yes, I believe so - here is my reasoning: I have worked in Probation/Parole in Grand Rapids MI with the Michigan Department of Corrections for 18 years (as a field CO) supervising the worst the city has to offer. I have been required to go into their homes during all hours of the day and night alone to "check" on them, search them, and determine compliance. I too, never knew what I was to expect. I have personally arrested over 1700 felony probation/parole violators during my career, with most of them being in the field. During my time supervising felons, I made sure every person I supervised had a search clause on their supervision orders, and gave us full search without the need of a warrant, which we exercised on nearly a daily basis. We also partnered with the Grand Rapids Serious Habitual Offender Team and together we arrested over 150 fugitives - if we knew they were in the house and wouldn't open, our search clause gave us entry - then if other crimes were discovered, our friends on GRPD could also get credit for the felony arrest. Currently, I am transporting parolees jail to jail across the state, but still miss the good old days. My point in saying all this, is that many CO's do more than just watch and deal with inside behavior. Just another perspective. Thanks to ALL who are out there protecting others.
  • I saw this and wanted to comment. I have worked in two different depts. The first one was a metro dept and the other was a county dept with state inmates. People, when I first moved to this area asked me if I was a cop. I would tell them no I'm not a cop I work at a detention center. Then one day I realized that I was a cop inside of a walled city. So, therefore I do consider CO's or deputy jailers as LEO's.
    Because without the CO's or deputy jailers, chaos would be on the streets. We are the thin line between chaos and order.
  • Well said, dsman. I am a Detention Officer in a Juvenile Detention Facility in suburban Birmingham Alabama. We get to deal with what the officers in the field bring us, and we have to be careful...after all, these juveniles are not here for singing too loud in church or skipping Sunday School. Anyone who has ever watched "Beyond Scared Straight" on A&E will understand the mentality of the juveniles we deal with on a daily basis. The juveniles of our day know NOTHING of fear. They are not afraid of ANYONE in uniform. They'd just as soon stab you as to look at you. So, I take very seriously the job of being a CO in a Juvenile Facility...and yes, we are given respect in that regard. We occasionally do medical transports outside of the facility...we have unmarked patrol vehicles with prisoner cages for that purpose...but most of our work is behind the walls.

    I have tremendous respect for those in the field for what they have to encounter on every traffic stop or while serving a warrant. They most certainly earn their pay...but so do we. Every night when I don that uniform, I pray for a safe night at work, for me and all of the officers under my command. One mistake could result in dire consequences for me or any of the officers in the building.
  • As a CO for Shelby Co. I too have noticed the respect differences. As we say here sadly we're the "redheaded step children" of the LEO community. I personally see it that yes we're all LEO's. I mean think about it, we DO enforce laws within our facility (which I'm sure my fellow CO's will agree is like a whole different world inside of a building) there for we ARE law enforcement. Just saying, I give respect to any side of law enforcement for we are all doing our communities a favor by risking ours to save others and keep them safe.....
  • A lot of LEO's do look down their noses at Corrections officers, yet the local LEO's get their noses put out of joint when the federal LEO's look down their noses at THEM! Our jurisdictions and duties differ, but bottom line, we all took the same oath. We always say that no one understands us but other LEO's, yet we play class games amongst our selves. We need to help, support and take care of each other, regardless of our titles.
  • Well said Gunsmoke.
  • I work for the Virginia Department of Corrections and we have VaLORS. Been with tehm for 17 years
  • I agree with Gunsmoke. So when did defending our title meant so much to deprive others of their rights to theirs. We are all Law Enforcement. We are all one brotherhood. They catch them, We keep them for life at times.
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