'This is the worst job in the world': How hundreds of NYC corrections officers have quit to join the NYPD after being forced to work back-to-back prison shifts

JACK NEWMAN | Daily Mail

Hundreds of New York city correction officers are quitting their jobs to join the NYPD in a huge exodus amid 'very low morale' in the prison service.

Former officers branded it the 'worst job in the world' after they were forced to work multiple shifts, control violent inmates single-handedly and stay in cramped conditions during the pandemic.

In the newest class of 555 NYPD recruits sworn in at the Police Academy on Thursday, there were 42 former guards, a law enforcement official told The New York Post.

This adds to the 34 sworn in at the previous ceremony in April and the 119 guards who switched to the police force last year.

Department of Corrections head Vincent Schiraldi, who was named commissioner last month, acknowledged: 'Morale at the Department of Correction is very low.'

The exodus comes amid violent anti-cop protests and the 'Defund the police' movement, but corrections officers are still wanting to jump ship to join the force.

Among those who made the switch is Tyliek Dyches, 28, who joined the DOC in 2017 and worked on Rikers Island.

He said his last day at work was a triple shift and celebrated leaving by posting a video online as he drove out of the infamous jail with a trash bag full of his belongings, saying 'I QUIT!!!!!!!!'

Dyches revealed that up to 20 people he worked with left their guard jobs to join the NYPD.

He said: 'The bad part about working at Rikers — I'll be honest with you — it's not the inmates. It's the administration. They're not backing us up and officers are getting hurt.'

It comes after the correction officers' union boycotted Mayor Bill de Blasio's parade for the Hometown Heroes of the pandemic.

Union president Benny Boscio Jr accused the DOC of mismanagement and negligence in a full-page ad last week, saying it led to 1,700 workers catching Covid, of which nine died.

Schiradi admitted it is 'scary' for people to be coming into work in a forced proximity with people who are medically vulnerable. 

But he vowed to turn things around and believes that more people will come to work as corrections officers in the coming months.   

One former corrections officer said: 'This is the worst job in the world.

'We come into work and we don't know when we are going home. It is not uncommon to work three of four shifts in a row.'

He said there is normally one officer working when there should be two and this leads to fights with the inmates they struggle to control.

Schiradi said his first priority is to stop staff from working multiple shifts so staff can feel safe.

Inmate David Mordukhaev, who escaped the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Facility barge in The Bronx on Friday, even mocked the DOC when he fled, leaving a note taunting guards for not checking his cell.

He was later recaptured in Brooklyn. 

One NYPD officer said he couldn't imagine how low the morale must be in the DOC for them to jump ship to the police.

Corrections officers have a starting annual salary of $43,333 while cops start on $42,500 in their first year.

Their salaries are the same after five years and a half years at $85,292.

The 42 guards who switched to the NYPD on Thursday join the 34 who were sworn in on April 21.  

In three graduating classes last year, there were a total of 119 correction officers.