Senator Haridopolos: Prison Guards, Police Are Different

By: The News Service of Florida
By: The News Service of Florida

Tallahassee, Florida - March 31, 2011 --

Responding Wednesday to a question about how privatization of prisons might be perceived, Senate President Mike Haridopolos said most people believe there is a difference between cops on the street and corrections officers in prisons – and that many newer prisons don’t need as many guards.

The Senate has suggested privatizing much of Florida’s prison system, potentially saving $70 million. “A prison guard is doing a very important job, but is not a police officer,” said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, adding he would rather make cuts in areas like prisons than education. Asked by a reporter whether he meant that corrections officers weren’t law enforcement officers, Haridopolos clarified: “Prison guards are law enforcement,” he said. “They both serve the public very well.” Police Benevolent Association lobbyist Jim Baiardi said later that corrections officers go through similar training as police. “Prison guards have to deal with convicted felons, and people on Death Row,” Baiardi said.

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  • by CO2 Location: Florida on Apr 11, 2011 at 10:40 AM
    All CO's for private prisons in Florida receive the same training and certification as State CO's. They do the same job under the same rules but get less pay. I am not for private prisons but people should not look down on any job private or state a CO does day in and day out.
  • by Concerned Location: Florida on Apr 5, 2011 at 12:50 PM
    Maybe Haridopolos needs to vist the prison on blue bird arrival day's. Process in some Inmates on his own with no body gaurds.Or even be a team leader on a use of force. With two or more 250 plus lb Inmates fighting with shanks. Then maybe he will take a retirement and pay cut go ahead take one for the team. You are not a police officer either. So does that make your job less important?
  • by David Anthony Kearns Location: Palm Bay on Apr 3, 2011 at 07:35 PM
    The astounding stupidity of my state senator leaves me weak with rage. When he's not frosting his hair,or bleaching his teeth, he's carrying water for Rick Scott and the Kock brothers. I would certainly like to see little Mikey do a walk along with corrections officers in one of our overcrowded prisons. He should explain to them on-camera how they should be doing more with less. I would pay to see that. Maybe even download it from Amazon.
  • by Correctional Officer Supporter on Apr 1, 2011 at 06:37 AM
    If Senator Haridopolos has his way, South Florida, and maybe more counties, will no longer have correctional officers like Greg Malloy who sacrificed his life providing mutual assistance in tracking down a double homicide suspect. Or other dedicated officers, who proudly sacrifice their safety to stand up against Florida’s most violent criminals, whether they are behind bars or not. Perhaps Senator Haridopolos should walk in these fine officers shoes for a day, and then look Col Malloy’s family in the eye and make his statements.
    • reply
      by Concerned on Apr 5, 2011 at 01:00 PM in reply to Correctional Officer Supporter
      Well our Gov. had a hard time looking at his family for his funeral and he was even a little shaken to stand in front of so many law enforcement officers that day. Wonder how he would feel if all C.O all the way up to Regional Directors just walked out and left him to take care of the Inmates.
  • by DOC Phil Location: Inyourhead on Mar 31, 2011 at 09:13 PM
    If justice was fair to all economic classes, Ole Harry would know the difference between a cop and a correctional officer. In 2010, Haridopolos pleaded guilty/no contest to ethics violation charges. He admitted to not disclosing a $400,000 investment home and did not disclose the names of consulting firms from which he received a combined $100,000. A poor man goes to prison but a rich man goes to the state's capitol. Must be the road map to the Capital Building. Rick Scott borrowed Harry's map!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:01 PM
    This is another example of ignorance by our political leaders. Correctional officer walk into a hostile environment every day where they are greatly out numbered. Harapoopulus has never had to make the sacrafices those guys make and get paid pennies to do it. Thank god we have correctional officers, probation officers and law enforcement officers. Instead he and his merry band of fools plan to continue to payback campain contributions by methodicaly eliminating corrections. What's next are we going to allow a private firm to carry out executions.
  • by Disgusted Location: North Florida on Mar 31, 2011 at 04:44 PM
    I don't consider him much of a senator either! I would like to know the difference between a police officer and a corrections officer? Could it be we don't carry a gun at work? We have to deal with these criminals dayin and dayout. Police only have to arrest them then they are though dealing with them. Inmates have weapons of all kinds. A corrections officer has a pen and has to deal with them 7 days aweek. I think he needs to come work with us for a month so he can experience the real world of corrections. I guess he was born with a gold spoon in his mouth and does'nt know the real world. And by the way (IM A TAX PAYER TO)
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Tallahassee on Mar 31, 2011 at 03:30 PM
    If Senator Hairpolitics thinks that working with convicted Murderers, rapists, armed robbers and pedophiles is not really law enformance. We could just shut down prisons and let them live in his mansion on Merritt Island. He could feed them with the $150,000 he stole by handwriting that book.
  • by Slawg Location: North Florida on Mar 31, 2011 at 03:08 PM
    It is apparent he has lead a sheltered life. Unfortunately many people consider convicted felons as victims of society while they are in prison and don't consider them a threat to society till we turn them out. LEO and CO deal with the same issue, one beats around in the bushes with a stick hunting the rattlesnake the other walks into a pit of them everyday without a stick. Wow! It is amazing how people with no experience dealing with an issue can become an expert on it. Yes I've seen both sides. Wish they would come enjoy the experience.
  • by Truthtracker Location: N. Florida on Mar 31, 2011 at 03:02 PM
    If you were to ask more Corrections Officers could and would become Police Officers. I can say without hesitation 97 no 98 percent of Police Officers would never want to become a Corrections Officer. Don't need as many were already out numbered 60-100 to 1, with no defense but a little pepper spray. The general public seems to think when these people are sent to prison they quit committing crimes, well they don't. They still kill, rape, rob and commit assaults. If you think privatizing is the answer, get ready for the crime rate to skyrocket. On behalf of many seasoned Corrections Staff, if this Legislature continues on it's path of taking, your gonna see an exodus never witnessed. The pay and benefits just don't out wieght the risk anymore. 12 years and going. Everything Florida has done to build one of the finest most professionally staffed Prison systems in the nation is on the verge of being one of the worst in the nation.
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