July 4, 2017

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Complacency in Pat Searches

Gordon Graham
Category: Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for corrections.

Pat searches are vital to jail security.

Today’s Tip is mostly for custody officers and it deals with complacency while conducting pat searches. 

In a jail setting, you might conduct dozens of pat searches every day. If you work in a large facility, maybe you do even more. You may get tired of doing the same thing day in and day out, especially if you rarely find anything. 

You may be tempted to get too comfortable and become complacent. After all, you see the same inmates every day of the week. You think you know which inmates you need to keep your eyes on. If you are not careful, you might find yourself just going through the motions of a pat search. Worse yet, you might skip the pat search on some inmates altogether. You “know” that inmate never has contraband so why bother? 

Pat searches are vital to jail security. Inmates have lots of time to watch and to study your behavior. They’ll know if you are complacent. They can tell if you are just going through the motions and just giving the appearance of conducting a proper search. Some may take that opportunity to smuggle in a weapon or other contraband which can be catastrophic to facility security.  

Our job is to do what we can to prevent contraband from entering the jail. It’s also our job to find try to find anything that made it in 

Don’t let complacency into your routine. Conduct every pat search as though your academy instructor were standing beside you watching over your shoulder. Conduct every pat search as though your life depended on it. It just might. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off. 

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