Monday, March 14, 2011

My First Night Locked Up!





You know this saying is so true! I always have been fortunate in life to have good friends. Most I don't see very often but their always a phone call a way if I need them and like you their always there for me. Loved all your sweet comments and of course the funny ones too about the post Droopiness. Who can be droopy with friends like you.


This evening I think I will share with you my first night as a Correctional Officer in a prison here in Texas. In case your wondering No I did not dream of being an Officer when I was a little girl it just happened.


Don't you hate that when you ask a question and the answer is It Just Happened! I do and here I am using it! Truth is it did just happen!


Okay back to the first night! Ninety nine out of a hundred when you start work in law enforcement especially in a prison they are going to assign you to the night shift. The shift that no one wants to work on but if your a New Boot most likely your first year is nights.


I can remember putting on my uniform making sure I did not leave anything off and kissing my hubby and kids goodbye for the night. I worked nine to five and we had to be there thirty minutes early for our shift briefing. The Lieutenant or Sargent would fill us in on what had happened the shift before and then in roll call assign us our place of duty for the night.


Sitting here now typing this I can feel my stomach churn as sometimes it did when waiting to here where I was going to spend the next hours of  work or hell as most of us called it. You could look at your fellow Officers and see the expressions on their faces when the roster was read and their assignment was called out. Some showed relief others showed fear or disappointment.


Me I never gave my Lt. the satisfaction of showing my feelings one way or the other. He was very much against women Officers and from day one he tried his best to get me to quit.


The very first night he put me in C Wing Dorms. Which meant I would spend the next 8 hours with the worse of the worse locked inside their housing area with them. No one else with me but inmates.


Common sense would tell you that you don't assign a New Boot to the worse Dorm on the first night. That is asking for trouble and could easily get someone hurt badly. Not only did he do that to me but I was the first woman ever to work inside a dorm there at night. Of course, I did not know that until months later.


I am now walking down the long dark halls of the prison in procession with my fellow Officers and one by one when you get to where your assigned you drop out of the procession. Something to see your first few times then you take it for granted. Finally we enter C Wing and not many of us are left because C wing was towards the end. In C Wing they housed the hoe squad inmates. These inmates were in there for anything and everything. From drugs to murder.


In front of my grey steel door now and I have a hundred big eyes on me. Of course, to me they were big. To them they could not figure out a woman was entering their private quarters at night. I had no idea it had not been done before my first night.


Up above me there was a boss that worked the cat walk and he was waiting on me to tell him to open the door.  I stood there for what I know must of seem like to that Boss a very long time and he finally said, "Are you going inside?"


I stood there thinking well do I turn around and leave or do I say Charley Wing Boss. It was finally Charley Wing Boss and the loudest click I have ever heard in my life opened those steel bars for me to enter.


Praise God eight hours later another Officer came to that same door and said, "Charley Wing Boss and I walked out of my first night of many locked down with 108 men.


Hope you have a wonderful week! Another time I will tell you about some of my nights locked in with the inmates. Of course, there are stories of Ms. Pearl making an appearance now and then. One time I well remember with that very same Lieutenant.


Love to all,


Maggie








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