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Corrections to Police or Deputy?

edited 30 Jan 2013 in Ask a Officer
I have always wanted to become a L.E.O. so I got into corrections as an introduction into law enforcement. I loved the job, but felt I could do more and wanted to do more. I'm wondering when I further my career in this field, if I should go for Sheriff's Deputy, or get on with a police department? I know it's more personal preference, but I figured I would get opinions and points of view from someone who has already worked in either or both.


  • Both have benefits and problems, but neither one is better than the other. Both are fine law enforcement organizations. However, police officers don't have to worry about election time and losing their job under a new boss. It does happen, don't let anyone tell you different.
  • Thank you. I have heard a lot of discussion about election time from some of the deputies, and they say it's not too bad in my area because we don't get transfers from any other agency, and most BLET grads go straight to police departments. It has been pretty difficult to weigh out pros and cons of both agencies. I guess i'm just nervous going to either agency because of they way my corrections career went. There was a "inner circle", a lot of favoritism, extreme lack of communication, and broken policies. It was in a way like high school. No shift or rotation was consistent with duties. I know it is everywhere but I don't want to run into that when I make the next step into law enforcement, especially on street patrol.
  • Where I live the local jail is run by/part of the Sheriff's department. My husband started in corrections, moved to the patrol and is now back in corrections. Both places were a lot like high school. From talking to other LEO's it is like that everywhere
  • Where I am, the Sheriff is a part of the jail, but he is a last resort option to report to if we have problems. It sucks that agencies are like that. I don't think that the high school setting would effect me too much because of my love for law enforcement, but it tends to make the job a bit more difficult. I don't think it will be too difficult working patrol since I will most likely be riding alone. I won't know until I get to that point in time. I really appreciate the help.

  • Duputy sheriff! In my city PO can't pit, pursuit,or run traffic after 24:00 plus county has SWAT.
  • PD can't pit in my area either. Yet neither can SO. I'm heading for the SO. I think it would be a better "next step" to get a hang of codes and the feel of street patrol. Thanks everyone!
  • GRevis0443,

    What's the name of the city you are referring to? That's crazy. It's not like that in Florida. Crazy
  • Blueblood89,
    While I do not disagree with the comment about losing your job at a sheriff's department under a new Sheriff, it is rare that it happens. You are much more likely to lose your job at a police department that is absorbed by a sheriff's department as a contract service. On the flip side, police departments typically make more and don't have to deal with things like serving process and evictions. Your backup will also be farther away in most cases. Just 2 cents from a Sheriff's Deputy.
  • On the previous comment, I mean that backup is farther away if you're with a sheriff's department.
  • Its a catch-22. Both agencies have their ups and downs. If you choice the Sheriff's department don't play the political games and you'll have no problems. As far as the police department they have their share of limiting advancement and job security if your not connected. Just look at your options and base your decisions on where you want to see yourself in the next few year.
    Wish you the best !!!
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  • I have worked in all. Corrections, sheriff patrol and now a police department. Like everyone else said, it all has its ups and downs. City departments, especially decent sized ones will give you more equipment and training. Sheriff's Departments can do those also, but usually have to a be fairly large department. Sheriff's Departments have the ability to keep you working if your road spot gets cut. I have a few deputy friends who have had to bouce back to the jail until a road spot opens because of budget cuts. If you want a lot of patrol duties, city would be best. Depending on the size of the department, if your a deputy you could be doing investigative, prisoner transport, court security duties as well.

    I would say look into both in your area. Talk with patrol guys from each and see what they like or dont like about their department. Figure out what you want and what you feel would suit you best.
  • Lake487, Smallfire13, and shadow903,
    Thank you for your input, I greatly appreciate them. I'm just worried because around my area, it is all about who you know. I do not like that aspect because I do not know anyone. Back to subject, all such great ideas and I wish you all the best of luck with your careers.
  • Fortlauderdale,
    Lake City, FL
  • Deputy. You don't just get stuck in one town. You get to explore different cities and we have more specialty units because it deals with the country.
  • Look for a larger agency that is hiring. You will have to move but the career is going to be worth it!! Larger departments have more room for advancement, training, specialties, and equipment.

    Corrections is the bottom rung of the ladder. I respect the guys that do it, including my brother, and it is a job I could never do!! Corrections is not really "law enforcement" and this is why some cops will write corrections officers a ticket.

    Everyone should really try to start higher up in the law enforcement options first. But it might open the door for you to move up the ladder if you cannot get a law enforcement job otherwise. It is hard to get in without having something in your background. Prior military, prior LEO, college, language skills, minority, female.

    The sheriff's office has a wide variety of responsibilities. The Jail, courtroom security, civil process, evictions, patrol, calls for service.

    The police have patrol and calls for service.

    Every jurisdiction should be covered by a sheriff's office. If they also have a police department, the sheriff's office normally turns over calls for service and patrol duties to the police.
  • In my State the only difference is the amount of area you cover. City Police patrol the City (be that a large city or small town) County has the whole county, including those cities.
    Some City Cops run Two Officers to a Car, Most County Officers are single man / woman units.
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