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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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DV Pilot police & fire

Corrections veteran scolds CNN commentator for insulting profession

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

SHOUT OUT: Cheers went up in the New Jersey correctional community and beyond last night when system veteran Anthony Gangi took CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to task for suggesting that inmates such as two recent New York prison escapees easily manipulate officers.

Anthony Gangi

“Correction officers are often very poorly paid, and they are not very well trained, so you have people who are vulnerable to start with,” Toobin said on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

“And it starts with very minor requests — ‘Oh, bring me food, bring me cigarettes’ — and then the grooming process continues,” Toobin said. “And that’s what leads to situations like this.”

“Anybody can be the manipulator,” Gangi shot back.

“It’s not that we’re vulnerable, it has nothing to do with us getting paid less, has nothing to do with any of that,” said Gangi, the host of the radio podcast Tier Talk and writer for NJ Blue Now magazine and Corrections.com . “It has to deal with — first of all, we’re professionals, and second thing is we have a job to do.”

“So for you to say that, you are belittling a profession that’s in the shadows,” Gangi continued. “It’s insulting… and when you say something like that — for people who’ve been in the shadows so long — we get frustrated!”

Officers and others praised Gangi for his frank comments.

“It’s pretty disheartening when you are a sworn law enforcement officer who went through one of the hardest academies in the country and your told your training is no good and basically ur profession sucks,” wrote Taylor Mazur.

“Well spoken, Mr. Gangi. Go get them,” added Raymond Ballester. “After my 25½ I have done in corrections I am proud of my profession and will remain proud and hold my head up high.

“As I get ready to go to Jacksonville, Florida on a convention to represent the NJDOC I go with pride with the other staff going to show them that we are not invisible.”

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