When The Local Law Enforcement Finds Out That Their Jurisdiction Ends In The Parking Lot.
Two county sheriffs walk into the lobby of a prison to pick up an inmate…
Me- Good afternoon officers. What can I do for you today?
Sheriffs- We are here to pick up Inmate (Insert Inmate Name Here).
I then call and let the right person know that the sheriffs are there to pick up the inmate. I am told they will be there shortly to escort the sheriffs in to get the inmate.
Me- Okay, they are on their way. But you cannot take weapons inside.
Sheriffs- We know. We want to secure them here.
Me- Great. I will be right back.
I go get a key for a box to secure them. I walk back and open the box. Both officers remove their guns and bullets and place them in the box.
Me- Gentlemen, you will have to secure the batons, pepper spray and cell phones as well.
Sheriffs- You expect us to go in unarmed?
Me- I do it every day.
Sheriffs- You’re just a receptionist.
Me- No, I am an officer and you cannot enter this institution with those weapons.
Sheriffs- Fine. (They put the batons and pepper spray in the box.) But we aren’t carrying cell phones. Just radios and we won’t give those up.
Me- That is fine.
I secure the box.
Me- Okay, go ahead and put your belts and anything metal you have on you in the bin and place it here (I indicated the conveyor belt to the x-ray machine) and go ahead through the metal detector.
Sheriffs- You are kidding right?
Sheriffs- We don’t have to. Our boss spoke with your boss and he said we could just come in.
Me- Who did he speak to?
Sheriffs- I don’t know. It’s always someone different. You have too much turnover here.
(Just FYI… The Captain and the Warden have been the same the entire time I have worked there.)
I pick up the phone and call the lieutenants office. To my surprise, the Captain answered the phone. I explain the situation. He tells me that if they will not even make a reasonable attempt to clear the metal detector, they cannot come in. I relay this information to the sheriffs.
One sheriff then pulls his cell phone from his pocket (I thought they didn’t have cell phones???) and calls someone, presumably his supervisor. He proceeds to tell his supervisor that we won’t let them in.
Sheriff (on phone)- No, the receptionist is being a jerk. I don’t know why she won’t let us in.
He speaks some more, walking away so I can’t hear him. He comes back.
Sheriffs- Our boss says we don’t have to be subjected to your strip search. You have to let us in or you will have to explain to a judge why the inmate didn’t appear in court.
Me- I am not letting you in until you make a reasonable effort to pass the metal detector.
Sheriffs- It’s against our protocol.
Me- Sorry. It’s against ours to let anyone in without going through the metal detector.
Sheriffs- Fine. We’ll leave. But it’s your fault when that inmate doesn’t appear in court.
I retrieve their weapons.
Me- Okay. Have a nice afternoon.
In the end the inmate did not leave that day. I wrote a memo explaining my actions to the captain and I even ran the situation by the warden. Both say I did the right thing. What is the point of storing the weapons if you aren’t going to clear the metal detector? How do I know you don’t have a gun in your pants? What was the big deal? Everyone who works there from the newest officer to the warden has to clear the metal detector.
This just goes to show that not only inmates can be jerks.