Things at the Agency have been a bit tense as of late. The rest of the facility has been off the hook and in and out of lock down for the better part of two weeks. Fortunately, J-Unit has been quiet but not without problems. It’s just a matter of time before we have a meltdown of our own. The key words being, “of our own.” J and H Units are self-contained and house the most acute and violent guests in the facility. When the shit goes down on other units, often they call for back up from those units who can spare an agent or two. J & H never go as it would put the guests at risk, as well as our fellow agents.
With the weather becoming nicer by the day, guests are spending more time out in the yard walking around, playing ball and exercising. Like normal people spring tends to put a little extra pep in their step. When inside frustrations are high and tempers run short. It’s times like these an agent gets a little “itchy” as we say in the business. It’s imperative we’re all on top of our game when things get hairy. If not, people get hurt or sometimes worse. So you watch their behaviors, their recreation time, their free time. You take notice the guests are spending a little more time in their pods, sneaking workouts when they can. The bouncing of the legs, the tapping of the fingers, the clenching of the fists. You notice that conversations tend to be a little more heated and shorter. That looks are a little more intense and harder. That relations are strained at best.
As an agent, you notice these things and even seasoned veterans get nervous. So what does this mean? It means a few less cheeseburgers, a few more minutes on the treadmill, a few more minutes on the heavy bag and a few more bench presses. When it all comes down to it, none of us like laying the smack down on the guests, (and this is the God’s honest truth) but in a situation where someone decides to make a bad choice, we’re not letting one another get hurt or worse, when we’re all just trying to pay the bills. At the beginning and end of the day, we’re all in it to keep people safe and better the world we all live in.
This post is dedicated to Detective Sgt. James Allen, PPD, may he rest in peace.