CO vs CPO | MassCops


Discussion in 'Corrections' started by 02136colonel, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. 02136colonel

    02136colonel Supporting Member

    Just wondering if anyone from DOC can provide any insight into whether you’d recommend going for CO or CPO on the Civil Service exam. I have a bachelors so I qualify for both.
    Which one is faster to get hired in? I’d assume far more people take the CO exam, but there’s probably more CO openings. Does it balance out or is one job better for the odds of getting hired?
    Do CPOs get any overtime? I know COs get decent OT, not sure for CPOs.
    Finally, what are the odds of getting one of the facilities in southern MA (Cedar, Norfolk etc) to start, as opposed to a northern facility (Souza, Concord, etc)? I live about 20 minutes to Walpole and over an hour to Shirley so I’d definitely prefer to go south.
    Feel free to PM if you’d prefer. Thanks in advance for any info
  2. axc1155

    axc1155 MassCops Member

    If you prefer weekends holidays and an overall normal life, go with CPO. Sometimes there are OT opportunities for them but I think it’s far and few in between. If you pick CO you will have MT TW WT off 3x11 or 11x7 for the foreseeable future . Should be plenty of OT at all the facilities but you will most definitely get forced, at some facilities I’m hearing 2 to 3 times a week.CO will probably be your best shot at getting on faster. Seems like the DOC needs the COs more then the cooks or CPOs. It’s all luck of the draw for where you are placed . They do what they can to help but at the end of the day you go where needed. My first year I was driving over an hour one way to my institution. You can try to transfer but it’s easier said then done. I would say try the academy out if they throw you somewhere you don’t wanna go just don’t accept. You’d just be in the same spot you are now.
    02136colonel likes this.
  3. Roy Fehler

    Roy Fehler MassCops Member

    As with any state job that doesn’t guarantee a location, you’ll be assigned according to the needs of the department. If that happens to be a long way from you, then too bad, so sad.

    I had a friend get on MSP, and I’ll never forget the look on his face when he looked up where Cheshire, MA was on a map (pre-Google) after his graduation.

    If you don’t like your DOC assignment, you can always quit, but I believe you have to pay back the cost of the academy, and you’ll be left with a certification that’s useless, unless you go to a sheriff’s department, which you should have done to begin with, if you’re stuck on staying local.
  4. axc1155

    axc1155 MassCops Member

    You don’t have to pay back the cost of academy, but if you did that would be hilarious.
    02136colonel likes this.
  5. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    Took a tour of MCI Shirley as part of a leadership class at Fitchburg State. After two hours there I couldn’t wait to get out. I respect all the COs and I don’t know how they work that job. I’d take a Campus job for less money so I wouldn’t work with those animals.

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    mpd61 likes this.
  6. PG1911

    PG1911 Back Out in the Sticks

    When you say "animals" do you mean the inmates or the COs :D?
    axc1155 and j809 like this.
  7. 02136colonel

    02136colonel Supporting Member

    Thanks for the info axc, I really appreciate it. I’m probably going to go the CO route, both because there’s more hiring and OT available. I usually do 20-24 hrs of OT a week anyway so the forces shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Although it is always the day you want to go home, that you get forced. I know the days off are something everyone deals with when they’re new. I looked at the contract it looks like they have a pretty generous swap policy so you can maybe get three days off by doing a swap. But either way it’s just part of being the new guy.
    I totally understand getting assigned where needed, that’s part of the job everywhere. I know at least in the past new guys were mostly split between SBCC and CJ, that’s more what I meant when I asked if you could request CJ but I totally understand no new guy is going to a pre-release or the Shattuck, those assignments require time on the job and I wouldn’t want that anyway I’d rather learn the job someplace busy. Thanks again for the info
    axc1155 likes this.
  8. axc1155

    axc1155 MassCops Member

    You can swap 2 times a week so work 2 doubles and a single get potentially 4 days off in a row. If you have MT and you give a guy Saturday for Sunday and wensday for Friday you’d have SMTW which honestly isn’t to shabby. If you’re willing to give guys both Saturday and Sunday for weekdays off you’ll get it no problem guaranteed. Unfortunately you won’t be able to swap until your 9 month probation is up. And if you are in a large academy class like I was, don’t be surprised if you do actually get LS or a pre. A couple of guys in my academy got them so they basically hit the jackpot. One guy said he could literally walk to the pre he was going to.
  9. MassBorn

    MassBorn MassCops Member

    CPO'S for the most part are social workers for the inmates and work with their release and other office/ administration topics. Being a CO you will be in a block and spend hours on end with these guys. Arguing with them and listening to their problems. You will be responding to Code 99's (suicides), inmate on inmate fights, inmate on staff fights and posting up for movement wether its raining, snowing or 100 degrees outside. CPO'S have it a lot easier as most have Ventilated offices and literally make up their own hours as far as when they speak to inmates. Also CPO'S are 7x3 have weekends and holidays.

    As a new CO you will be in the worst blocks dealing with argumentative and temperamental guys who will test you and how little respect and these guys work out all day long, on top of that you'll have Tuesday Wednesday off and get stuck on 11x7. As a new CPO you'll go to Pondville first and deal with minimum level inmates who will give you no trouble.

    Overtime depends on institutions I know SHIRLEY and OCCC have a ton of OT wether you want it or not its there, CPO'S as far as I know have only had OT during the pandemic back in march through May to help out kitchen staff because the entire institution was on lock down other then that its virtually non existent.
    02136colonel likes this.
  10. MassBorn

    MassBorn MassCops Member

    In general as a CPO you will be less stressed, work in a more peaceful environment and generally have a better quality career. Any and every CPO I've met has been kind, polite and generally happier. I can't say the same for screws. Ive seen many CO's change over a few years in and take the CPO route. Cant say I've ever seen a CPO become a CO. Unfortunately with the crime reform bill passing and changing ideas of the general public being a CO is no longer what it use to be. The job has changed in every way, inmates are now victims and CO'S are held accountable for any and every action while inmates are just poor victims in unfortunate situations.
    wrangler and 02136colonel like this.
  11. USAF286

    USAF286 MassCops Member

    What the hell is a CPO??

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  12. 02136colonel

    02136colonel Supporting Member

    Thanks for the info MassBorn I really appreciate it
  13. 02136colonel

    02136colonel Supporting Member

    USAF286 likes this.
  14. Foxy85

    Foxy85 MassCops Member

    CO/CPO....?...... At this rate, I almost wish I went CDL instead and attended the NETTTS academy.
  15. adamo413

    adamo413 MassCops Member

    Forget CO vs CPO how do you get a maintenance officer/ Industrial Instructor gig? That's where the dream schedule is at .

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