GREAT FALLS – This week past week was National Correctional Officers Week.
“To do this job, you have to have a sense of community safety. You’re doing something for your community,” Cascade County Detention Center Sergeant Cory Light said.
And to celebrate, MTN went to the Cascade County Detention Center to speak with those who do the job day in and day out.
“It’s a misunderstood profession,” Light said.
Light comes in four days a week and works twelve hour shifts at a time.
Every day, he gets the report of the night before and dives right in.
“When we walk into work every day, a lot of it is unexpected. Every day changes here. The people that we get, the people that we house in our facility that leave, including the different issues that people have when they do come in,” Light said.
And often times, the task for the day is not an easy one.
“We deal with a lot of situations. Right now we are dealing with a lot of mental health issues, medical issues and substance abuse issues,” Light said.
The most difficult part? Seeing a familiar face.
“It’s a revolving door. You see a lot of the same people. You feel bad for them but at the same time you want them to get the help they need. Sometimes being here is that help,” Light said.
But the job has its perks.
“When we can get someone who exits our facility and don’t come back, there is a kind of a feel good story behind it,” Light said.
Light said he does not want much recognition, but appreciates the support of the community.
“It’s a very thankless job, but very rewarding,” Light said.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News