CO or LEO?

CO or LEO?

This is a discussion on CO or LEO? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've decided to take the plunge and go to the local Law Enforcement Academy. I was going to go last year, but I hurt myself ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    CO or LEO?

    I've decided to take the plunge and go to the local Law Enforcement Academy. I was going to go last year, but I hurt myself and then the evening class that they held later in the year conflicted with my work schedule. Well now, I'm working days (the lady that was working the day shift quit) so I can attend the evening classes.

    One thing though, I've talked to a couple of police officers and they suggested going into Corrections first, then going from there to Patrol, cause you gain some valuable experience that way and you'll get to know the people you'll be dealing with on the street. Do y'all agree? I'm just not sure I want to be locked in a cage with a guy who's 6' 2" 350 lbs without a weapon, you know?
    Ron Paul 2012

    There are three kinds of Yankees: Yankees, Damn Yankees, and Floridians


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    I would look into what being a state Conservation Officer makes in Fl.
    They rule here in Mi. and have more authority than the SP even.
    Either than that, I got nuthin',
    tho I think you might do a bit of researching, and personal reflection on your own psyche/attitudes toward humanity, and then follow your heart in the matter.
    Good luck.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Here in Kentucky, Jailers and their deputies are sworn, and have state wide jurisdiction. In the facility near hear, an officer is locked in a housing unit alone with up to 60 inmates. I think CO's are somewhat tougher than regular LEO who work the streets.

    I'd say go for what you can get, any experience is valuable.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Here in Kentucky, Jailers and their deputies are sworn, and have state wide jurisdiction. In the facility near hear, an officer is locked in a housing unit alone with up to 60 inmates. I think CO's are somewhat tougher than regular LEO who work the streets.

    I'd say go for what you can get, any experience is valuable.
    I'd say they'd have to be. Do you know anything about the rules of engagement and what you can and can't do to defend yourself? I know a guy who works as a CO up near Jacksonville and he was stabbed by a inmate. I'm thinking about taking up Brazillian Jiujitsu. Not because of the CO thing, but just because there is a school near by and it looks interesting. I did take some Aikido, but that was four years ago. I really like it and would have liked to continue, but there isn't a dojo around here.
    Ron Paul 2012

    There are three kinds of Yankees: Yankees, Damn Yankees, and Floridians

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    As a rule of thumb, its a plus 1 type thing. You can use a level of force 1 step above that aimed at you, in order to maintain order and compliance. But different laws and rules may vary.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Member Array nikdfish's Avatar
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    A description of life as a CO could be summed up as long days of mind numbing boredom punctuated by moments of heart pumping intensity (or "oh ****" terror ...).

    Not really, but close. Much of your work is maintaining a day in, day out routine - the smoother the better. Your objective is to avoid unnecessary conflict and disruptions, but still being firm enough so as not to compromise your ethics or professional conduct. You aren't there to fight, but you can not afford a reputation as being "weak" or easily manipulated (& hotheads are as easily manipulated as "weak sisters"). You have to learn the rules of the game, both in terms of your post orders/rules of professional conduct and in terms of the non-official rules of conduct that have developed over time. Learn from the experienced hacks without getting damaged by the inevitable burnouts you run into. If you pay attention to what happens around you, you'll learn quite a bit about people under stress & yourself. Not quite the same as dealing with civilians, though (although you'll deal with some of them in visiting rooms & as volunteers or contractors).

    Actually the frequency of physical conflict is fairly low in most well run operations, with the exception being those specifically assigned to squads associated with forced cell moves and extractions.

    Nick
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    Member Array Zombie57's Avatar
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    I am assuming you are not going to the academy on behalf of an agency who will be putting you to work when you graduate so you need to ask yourself some questions.
    will this will become my primary occupation?
    is this cost coming out of my pocket?
    Will I need to pursue the first position that comes open in either field?

    My professional opinion is that I would not take a corrections job just to get to know who the bad guys are you may be dealing with. There will be plenty of them that are not in jail, those that are, and you will get to know them all rather quickly anyway. My suggestion is to decide now which path you want to pursue and stick with that one path, corrections or enforcement. Not many agencies unless going from Sheriff's patrol to Jail Corrections will allow a lateral transfer which will allow you to keep your seniority and retirement.
    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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    Third President of the United States

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    Member Array nikdfish's Avatar
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    +1 ^

    Nick
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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    I would imagine being a co would be awful.

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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    OK... so your asking what branch of law enforcement? Assuming that by lEO you mean the police, and C/O you mean the corrections/Jailer officer?

    OK let me see... hmmmm

    A front row seat to the greatest show on earth... (and get paid to do it.) Or...

    Do more time than most of the people sentenced by the courts. ( depending on the retirement age... you could do 25 years. Thats a murder sentence)

    I'd recomend you become a street cop.
    Rotorblade likes this.

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    VIP Member Array Richard58's Avatar
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    Be a secret service agent they have openings now.
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    The police are not there to protect you from crime, they are there to arrest the guy after the crime has been committed, assuming they find him. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and your family.

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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    I would vote CO over LEO. LEO's have to answer "man with a gun" calls. You could be blown out of proportion on a forum somewhere... I Jest...

    The old saying "one badge gets you another" is pretty true. Once you have a foot in the door, lateral movement isnt too difficult. Obviously open positons, budget, and other factors come into play, but in general, you will have an easier time moving around. I would start in the LEO side of it. Either job has lots of pro's and lots of con's, and both are pretty specific to personality types (if you're good at it). CO's operate under a very strict environment. There isnt quite as much freedom. You are given rules for everything. If you enjoy that, CO is the way to go. A LEO has to be his own boss a little more. To be good, you need to be much more proactive, and be alot more flexible. Both positions require being a quick thinker, even tempered, and extremely comfortable in social interactions. The two fields have alot of similarities, but can be extremely different. Keep in mind the jurisdiction you are working in, population, local politics, benefits etc... There are too many variables between departments to even start talking about. Try to imagine which position better fits your personality type. Either way you choose, its the best job in the world, and the worst job in the world. Most days, the good far outweighs the bad. Good luck!

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Depends where you live . Here if you are CO the LEO folks will not hire you. Bad blood .
    Just the way it is.

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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRTCP88 View Post
    I've decided to take the plunge and go to the local Law Enforcement Academy. I was going to go last year, but I hurt myself and then the evening class that they held later in the year conflicted with my work schedule. Well now, I'm working days (the lady that was working the day shift quit) so I can attend the evening classes.

    One thing though, I've talked to a couple of police officers and they suggested going into Corrections first, then going from there to Patrol, cause you gain some valuable experience that way and you'll get to know the people you'll be dealing with on the street. Do y'all agree? I'm just not sure I want to be locked in a cage with a guy who's 6' 2" 350 lbs without a weapon, you know?
    It's not hard to understand the type of people you will be dealing with... You see them on the street almost every day, I'm not sure why LEO's think they deal with more dangerous people than the every-day civilian does, a bigger amount of people yes, but just as bad as what we see. I would just go for the L.E classes. They give CO jobs to 18 year olds with only a HS diploma. I got accepted for an interview but decided to decline the job as I was not ready at the time to commit to it. CO is a crap job, take the LEO classes and I'm sure you will be happy with the decision.
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK

  15. #15
    Member Array nikdfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burns View Post
    (...snip)They give CO jobs to 18 year olds with only a HS diploma. (snip...)
    Maybe some state or local systems. Feds want a BS or prior "supervisory" experience for entry positions. As for being a "crap" job, that will vary by organization. Within the federal system, there is a potential for a lot of upward mobility. I started as a CO with them at 25 & retired at 52 as a GS 15...

    Nick
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