Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Corrections vs. Police Officer Career Survival
I thought of your outreach services as I was sitting in a class last night. I've been taking part in the local police department's Citizen's Academy, and last night they talked about officer survival. One of the key points was that after any violent incident they have to talk to their Crisis Intervention Response Team. They have those instances on a rare basis during the course of their work, but most correctional officers are involved in violent incidents at least once a week.
They also talked about how working 24/7 365 days a year takes a toll on police officers and their families, and that they are watched for signs of distress, then sent for counseling. Correctional officers deal with the same issues, but are taught to just swallow their anguish and go on. It's a shame that correctional professionals are not given the same level of respect and care that police officers are. Instead, they are considered the bastards of the justice system. Many police officers wouldn't last a day as a correctional officer, because they wouldn't be able to keep their 21 ft. distance, nor would they be carrying a sidearm.
Keep up the great work that you do, and keep getting the word out that it is OK to seek counseling.