Commissioner Recalls Work As Corrections Officer

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SCRANTON -- The flag outside the Lackawanna County Prison is at half-staff to pay respect to corrections officer Eric Williams, whose death at the federal prison in Wayne County has been ruled a homicide.

Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O`Malley certainly knows the dangers of the position.

He began his career doing that very same job, working here at the county prison.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to be involved in law enforcement. Corrections officers should always, they should be respected, that job is not easy,” said O’Malley.

O`Malley says he was just 21 years old when he began his 15 year stint as a corrections officer.

He says being attacked, even killed by an inmate is something that was on his mind every day.

“You got inmates that can make weapons, they`re trying to bring drugs in, they`re not here for trick or treating, they`re here for committing a crime.”

And O`Malley says he came extremely close to dangerous situations.

“We got caught at the other end of the wing and there were only two corrections officers and we had to move ourselves out of the situation.  An inmate was starting a fight with another inmate and everybody circled us.”

But still O`Malley says there were many benefits of working as a corrections officer.

He feels things he learned inside those walls he uses everyday on the outside.

“You`re dealing with all different levels of life,” said O’Malley. “And I think if there was any strengths that I received being a corrections officer it would be to be able to work with anybody in any environment at any time.”