...to find out who you can count on. Sorry, but I really need a place to vent right now and this seems like the only place that I can do it. I apologize in advance for the length of this (and I have had a couple of VERY strong drinks so I am feeling a little fuzzy already. I may accidently include some prison slang without realizing), I hope it makes at least a little sense.
Anyway, went to work last night and everything seemed cool at first. I was assigned to work in the medical department and I was in there with the nurses and a couple of inmates who were having treatments done. Me and the nurses were just talking and cutting up. I heard some scrambled transmissions on the radio (not an uncommon thing cause our radios are crap). So I put the radio to my ear so that I could hear what it was when it was repeated. About that time, an inmate stumbles into the hallway outside the door and he is coughing and gagging. I notice that he has his asthma inhaler in his hand so I think "Oh crap, he is having an attack and is about to go down on us". So I open the interior door and at the same time, another officer opens the outer door and brings another inmate in. She yells "Put these guys in the cage" (the cage is a secured waiting area made of chainlink fence designed to contain the offenders who are waiting to be seen by a nurse/doctor). So I did and began to wonder what was going on. Since I was not allowed to leave my post, I began to listen very closely to what was being said on the radio. The next words I hear are "STAFF ASSAULT!! STAFF ASSAULT!!" and that is all that comes over clearly, everything else is garbled. I get tense knowing what that could mean and thinking of all the friends that I have there. I could not respond to the incident because there were other inmates in the clinic and I could NOT leave them alone in there with the nurses (who are civilians). So I listened to the radio with a pounding heart hoping that everyone except the inmate was okay. The next thing I know, there are other officers bringing the inmate into the clinic for what we call a "PHD" physical where the nurses make sure the inmate is okay physically before we put him in lock-up. He had been sprayed by pepper spray (the fumes are miserable enough, like a really bad allergy; causing coughing and sneezing), and this whole time, I had no idea who he had assaulted. After he was taken out of the clinic, then officers began to arrive. First was my Lieutenant (who had first been assaulted by the inmate) and he was affected by the pepper spray and had a cut over his left eye from where the inmate had punched him. Then next person to arrive was a fellow officer who had been caught up in the following fight after the initial assault and ended up with a scrape on his head from wrestling on the sidewalk (which is covered in all kinds of nasty cooties). So I start to get a little bit mad because if I had known what was going on in time, I would have locked everything up and responded. Only later, after talking to other officers who were there, did I find out that there were about 7 officers total at the scene when this happened. Do you know how many actually tried to help when the Lt. Got hit??? 2!!! All the others just stood around and watched while the Lt. Was in a fight (which could have very well been a fight for his life). Now I feel really safe!! I guess that it takes a fight to find out who you can really look to for help when your life depends on it. Some of the people who work with me are just a death sentence waiting to happen. It really terrifies me to think of who I may have to trust my life to someday. SOME OF THESE PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN WALK AND BREATHE AT THE SAME TIME!!!!
Anyway, sorry for the novel. I just had to vent a little even if nobody is listening.