Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good Ol' Mr. Hicks, a story for Correctional Officers

Back in December 2012, when I interviewed for a job as a Florida Correctional Officer I had a meeting with the Warden, Mr. David McCallum. I recall he said, "Remember brown and blue don't mix."  He was referring to officers (who wear brown) crossing the ethical line of being too friendly with an inmates (in blue).  Some inmates may be genuine and reforming, but the majority can be manipulative and officers can fall prey to them.

That thought has been with me, especially lately as I've met some really nice guys that are inmates, seemingly harmless fellows over the age of 70.

Last week, I was chatting with four elderly inmates at  breakfast, and I later found out that three of the four are in for murder.  So I wrote this poem...

"My Friend Mr. Hicks", by a Correctional Officer to his colleagues.

1) I met this man the other day, we seemed to hit it off.  Kind and friendly was his way, my buddies seemed to scoff.

Brown and blue were meant for you, remember they never mix.  Not even with a good ol' boy, like inmate Mr. Hicks.

2) His name is Walt and he has a fault that happened long time ago.  It doesn't matter how or why, the fact is that its so.


3) His blues are faded, is heart is jaded, his mind not fully there. He's doing life, for killing his wife, and doesn't seem to care.

Brown and blue were meant for you, remember they never mix. Don't cross the line, or you'll do the time, like good ol' Mr. Hicks.

Fellow officers, be firm, fair and consistent, but don't cross the line. - FLDOC Officer G. Koerner, Jan. 8, 2013.

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