Spears is a stand-up guy - he does not play games or tells tales or is an alarmist - he is one of the most level headed officers who ever worked for me and that says a lot for his character - if he says something, it’s the truth - if the DOC says something, it is either a lie, a deflection or non-truth, a distraction or a denial = those are the DOC tools in their public information warfare toolbox so you have to guess if they are lying to you, distracting you or bull crapping you, the taxpayer footing these outrageous expenses.
These men and women are the backbone of a great agency that once stood tall and proud and is now broken, weak and vulnerable to any large disturbance threatening the communities where they are located. You don’t have to believe the numbers for they don’t mean a thing unless you are working the line and the work is overwhelming, fatiguing or even wearing you / burning you out. Yes, the assaults are up and no, Wilder is telling the truth the data was changed to define assaults because the prior director sugar coated her statistics to lower the rates but in all reality, no matter how you define assaults, you have to see the face, the wound, the trauma and the tragedies experienced with every harmful event, injury or painful wound inflicted by violent inmates
I am not an alarmist and neither is Spears. He is a real tough officer who takes care of his troops unlike the agency director who feels “his officers” are expendable and subject to injuries, rapes assaults and other unlawful touching because the job they chose tolerates such unlawful activities so suck it up and deal with it.
Listen to Spears, he would not have spoken out and contradict the DOC if he didn't have the facts. There things the public needs to ask to keep our communities safe or safer as there are very high risk events coming up this summer which may jeopardize public safety. When DOC pulls 96 TSU officers from 4 complexes, it leaves those complexes vulnerable – that is what Spears is telling you – on paper, you have staff – on the ground there are big holes in the roster that is frightening under most conditions.
This DOC spokesman, Andrew Wilder, I heard he is a good man, although a well versed skilled communicator with great crisis management skills, this man no idea what an Arizona correctional officer endures daily. He does not know what correctional officers do each day to keep it together. He can tell you what they do out of the handbook but on the yards, it is a different world.
He does not experience the secondary post traumatic vicariously impacting our employees. He does not have an inmate in his or her face – he speaks boldly confidently and clearly about the DOC politically correct responses to inquiries because that’s why he is their spokesperson but he carries no credibility of what he speaks.
Heck, his boss carries no credibility of what he speaks. Those double dipping executives he personally recruited, hired and put on his executive team on the 4th floor haven’t worked a post for so long, they lost the reality of working the real line where sweat and blood is daily as inmates are becoming younger, bolder, riskier and more violent.
It’s more than staffing a post or carrying out an assignment and overtime is hardly a substitute for having rested clear minded employees on duty. It’s a life and death occupation with challenges most men and women can’t handle being unarmed and facing over two hundred convicted felons at a time when there is no back up to ensure your safety or the safety of others on duty.
Talk is cheap – the DOC administration needs to get back to basics and stop mistreating their employees and give them back their dignity, respect and pride. They deserve it for what they do every day with no tools or guns and just guts.