I am a good employee and my supervisor likes me. I’ll be ok, right ?

WRONG.

Over the course of a twenty – twenty-five year career, you could experience possibly four – five changes in leadership, one – two reductions in force (RIF), multiple serious incidents including inmate deaths, staff assaults, parolee shootings. You may  be subjected to internal affairs investigations, letters of concern, letters of reprimand, time off without pay, demotions. You may engage in multiple inmate restraints, any single one could lead to allegations of misconduct against you. Your co workers may not neccessarily be ‘team players’ and you may be the one getting played. After about five years on the job, you may be the only one left from your academy.  

You may possibly be targeted by administratiors above your supervisor’s level, even if your supervisor advocates for you.  Much of self defense depends on having experience in dealing with the political realities of this field. The ‘unwritten rules’ change frequently, due to rapid staff turnover combined with a high liability population. You have to be able to recognize trends and adjust with them. You have to ‘swim with the sharks’ and avoid being eaten by them. You have to know what is really important at the top levels and be able to deliver. If not, the administration can be more dangerous to your job than the inmates.

AZCOPS members have many years of experience and can be a valuable source of solid advice based on their own (sometimes painful) experiences.  Join AZCOPS today, so you can benefit from this experience.