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Letter: Officers also subjected to abuse from inmates

Officers also subjected to abuse from inmates

I recently read an article regarding the abuse of prisoners in the New York State correctional system. I am a recently retired Erie County sheriff’s deputy who worked for 33 years at the Erie County Holding Center, Erie County Correctional Facility and the ECMC lockup.

Does prisoner abuse happen? Yes, it does, but it is a two-way street; officers are also subjected to emotional and physical abuse. How many people would like their family’s life threatened? In other cases, they have urine, feces and other bodily fluids thrown on them. They are under constant threat of being punched, kicked or bitten. In some cases, female officers are sexually harassed by male inmates. The rates of divorce, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse are high in this profession.

Yes, we chose this job as our career. It just seems every time something happens negatively in this system, it makes front-page reading again. There are officers who abuse the system, but give thanks to the officers who do their job in a very stressful environment.

Kevin Smith

Buffalo