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Philly Seeks Stronger Recruits Amid Police Woes

Philly Seeks Stronger Recruits Amid Police Woes

Mayor Nutter

Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

August 06, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Faced with a growing number of officers in handcuffs, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey announced plans Thursday to assign more officers to the department’s Internal Affairs bureau, enhance officer training in ethics issues, and create new ways for officers to report misconduct among their colleagues.

Ramsey said he was not sure how many officers would be transferred to Internal Affairs, but said they would be assigned to a joint task force that works with the FBI in investigating police corruption. The department is also looking at ways to make Internal Affairs a more attractive assignment for officers, Ramsey said.

Much of the anticorruption plan focuses on preventing officers from making bad decisions. Whereas officers now receive most of their ethics training at the Police Academy, Ramsey said the department would create additional courses to help officers develop critical thinking and self-awareness throughout their careers.

Ramsey said the department would work to encourage officers to report colleagues when they see inappropriate behavior.

“The Police Department continues to ask the public to step up and report wrongdoing,” Ramsey said. “We will ask no less of its own members.”

The department is launching a hotline and e-mail address that go straight to Ramsey’s office. Officers and the public can use them to anonymously report police misconduct. The phone number, which will be active Monday, is 215-686-3009. E-mails can be sent to police.commissioner@phila.gov.

Ramsey has tasked Patricia Giorgio-Fox, deputy commissioner for organizational accountability, with implementing the new strategies.

He was spurred to announce the plan after Kenneth Crockett, a 26-year veteran of the 6,600-plus force, was charged last week with stealing $825 from a Northeast Philadelphia bar.

The announcement also followed the arrest of three police officers last month on federal charges of robbing a drug dealer.

Eleven officers have been arrested since March 2009, including two on murder charges stemming from off-duty shootings. Another officer was fired this year after admitting that he fabricated a story about being shot by a black man. In fact, the officer had shot himself.

Ramsey said Thursday that the department had opened investigations into several other officers, but declined to comment further.

“It’s a cloud,” he said of the spate of scandals. “And it’s going to take time for that cloud to lift. But we’re not going to run from it.”

Ramsey has said attracting stronger recruits is a priority. Starting in 2012, new officers will have to be at least 21 and have three years of driving and two years of college classes under their belts. Standards now allow 19-year-olds with no college education and little driving experience to join the academy. The residency requirement has been modified in an effort to draw candidates from outside the city.

Police experts said implementing an anticorruption plan would not be easy. Some officers arrested recently were veterans and had nothing in their backgrounds that would indicate a predilection toward criminal acts.

A larger obstacle to fighting corruption is often a version of the “don’t snitch” culture that officers battle when policing urban areas, said Rich Jarc, executive director of the Josephson Institute, a Los Angeles nonprofit that educates police departments on ethics. In many departments, Jarc said, it’s all but demanded that officers stand together, and ratting each other out is discouraged.

“It doesn’t mean that the department is totally corrupt,” Jarc said. “But that cultural code of silence might be preventing some people from stopping this behavior.”

Ramsey said Thursday that many officers had reported misconduct by colleagues, but that the department needed to reach those who remained hesitant to do so. After Crockett’s arrest on theft charges last week, Ramsey said, more information came to light from officers who knew or suspected Crockett was not always going by the book.

“We’ve got to create an environment where people feel comfortable coming forward and reporting something,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”


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  • Shenanigans7sy_max50

    vsp_lowe

    over 3 years ago

    2956 Comments

    there are some who are, some who should have never picked up the job application to begin with. It is by no means and excuse, but a higher wage might prevent some of the problems these departments have.

    Clobster This Part of what you said I agree with whole hearttly. I say amen sir!!!!

    People are human no matter what. There are some that Deserve to wear the badge and others who are just dirty no matter what. Never should have made it throu7ght the academy. But In some rare instance people are bad no matter who they are or what they stand for. It is the whole devil in sheeps clothing. Every one is equal no matter if they wear a badge or don't!!

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    over 3 years ago

    3804 Comments

    Nice Lawmantukes, as always, well said...

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    You cannot buy a person who is not for sale...................

  • Funny_pictures_56616_max50

    DarkBlue

    over 3 years ago

    4880 Comments

    To add to what LAWMANTUKES said.......Being a LEO to most LEO's comes from the Heart & Soul. It is not only " a job " but also a calling. LE defines ones character and also builds it. True.... some LEO's chose the wrong profession, but that does not stop or hinder me from being who I am. My blood runs Blue , therefore criminality is not an option...... no matter what the circumstances. If you offer me a bribe you go to jail. No options. Game over !!!
    No harm in realizing one is not cut out for Law Enforcement. It's not for everyone and it's certainly not easy.

  • Phone_pics_035_max50

    cgregor12

    over 3 years ago

    3026 Comments

    Clobster....Sorry buddy but it sounds like your the type of individual that police departments are NOT looking for. You cannot justify someones integrity or respect for the profession because that person is facing tough times or is "poor." If your looking to become a millionaire from this job your in the wrong field. I can speak for many officer and say its not all about the money but more about the passion of putting on a uniform and having a purpose to help society.

  • Img_0103_max50

    LAWMANTUKES

    over 3 years ago

    6950 Comments

    Clobster....young man you are quite an intelligent man. I can tell that by your ability to reason and express yourself. But.!! again, if a person chooses this line of work, then he or she is expected to do the right thing. Bills or not, low pay or not, kids or not are never ever an excuse to tarnish the badge, onece it is placed upon your chest. And as far as low pay is concerned, sure one who doesen't really understand what being a sworn lawman is all about, may be of the oppinion that you have expressed.

    Not withstanding your comments about big city police departments, you must reallize that the smaller agencies, have the luxiary of having hundreds to thousands apply for just a few positions. Therefore affording them the opportunity to take their time and conduct more effective background checks and tighter screening and evaluation. Put it quite simply, the larger the agency is, the more likely there are those who will simply slip through the cracks, because a recruiter or background investigator might be somewhat overwhelmed with multiple applicants that they have to process.

    Again, one who chooses to do this line of work, must realize that they are held to a higher standard that can never ever be violated, regardless of what the temptation to do so is.

  • Justice-400_max50

    clobster

    over 3 years ago

    1552 Comments

    I value integrity at my job probably more than anyone in whole company. The problem is when you pay officers $35,000 a year to start and cap it at maybe $43,000 a year. Throw in some kids and money troubles, and a bribe can start to look a little nicer and reasonable. People are human, even if they are complete bastards, and the departments who seem to have the biggest corruption problems are also the departments that seem to pay the least. Is it right then for them to be dirty? Hell no! But when you send a bunch of guys out on the tight rope with no balancing bars and no safety lines, what do you expect is going to happen? Not all of them will make it across, and that's not the best way to find out either. Money is not everything (if it was, trust me, I'd go to law school) but it can play a factor. People have a lot of reasons to not fall from grace: their job, their family, their own morals and ethics, and one of them for people is money. Kids who get fired from their minimum wage job don't give a crap because they can always get another job with the same pay, and the mentality can rarely be the same even for police officers low on the scale.

    And DarkBlue I'm not saying that crime is justified if you're poor, and I'm not trying to insult anyone, I'm simply trying to make a point. You may not be willing to take a bribe due to debt or money troubles, but there are some who are, some who should have never picked up the job application to begin with. It is by no means and excuse, but a higher wage might prevent some of the problems these departments have.

  • Img_0103_max50

    LAWMANTUKES

    over 3 years ago

    6950 Comments

    "BUMP" DarkBlue....

    Clobster...I am not going to beat up on you. But...!!! you must try to understand the concept of "Law-Enforcement" and "Police Work". You see young man, a Police Officer, or Law-Enforcement Officers are held to a higher standard. Our positions are concidered as an "Office of Public Trust". What that means is that any man or woman that swears to the oath of such positions, have to be both trustworthy and honest beyond a reason of doubt. As my fellow Officers suggests, if one takes that type of view point that you have the right to express as you have done so, then concidering a job in this field, may not be a wise move towards a career.

  • Funny_pictures_56616_max50

    DarkBlue

    over 3 years ago

    4880 Comments

    clobster...........integrity and self respect have no price. Your statement almost justifies crime if your poor. If that is truly what you believe you are looking for a job in the wrong field. If I was dead broke and also in debt I would still never " take a bribe ". You just insulted every Officer on this site ..........you do know that , don't you ?

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    over 3 years ago

    23110 Comments

    clobster. Everyone knows the deal when they take the job. Remember there is no lower form of life than a dirty cop.

  • Headshot_max50

    HeadShot

    over 3 years ago

    736 Comments

    Hopefully these plans will help clean the image of Philly's PD. They have a horrible stigma, and it's been caused by a few rotten cops. The majority of the good cops out there get stuck with the shitpiles these guys and gals leave behind. And there is NEVER an excuse or reason to go to the dark side and become corrupt.

  • Dsc00052_max50

    LtD

    over 3 years ago

    200 Comments

    I'll tell you what I expect of Police Officers, Clobster......Ethical, moral and courageous conduct. Nothing less.... If you don't have that to give to this honorable profession, than get out or never get in it. Are officer underpaid ? Quite frequently, yes. But no one put a gun to their head to put a gun on their hip. If you're chasing the dollar, find something else to do...

  • Justice-400_max50

    clobster

    over 3 years ago

    1552 Comments

    I'm sorry, but when you pay your officers jack squat, what can you expect of some of them? I know budgets can only handle so much, but it's ridiculous what some departments pay their officers on the East Coast and mid west. It's a little easier to refuse a bribe when your family isn't on food stamps (not in all places but there are some).

  • Pure_irish_hate_max50

    Nacho

    over 3 years ago

    58 Comments

    I hope the IA gets ever single 1 of the corrupt SOBs. It would make life easier when applying to departments.

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50

    t1401hm

    over 3 years ago

    1754 Comments

    I can't say anything about the Mayor. He's makes countless questionable decisions. However, Ramsay's cool.

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