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How Do You Handle Police Misconduct?

How Do You Handle Police Misconduct?

“Police misconduct” is always a favorite topic of the media, and who can blame them? Exposing the dark side of those who are supposed to serve and protect makes for fascinating reading and viewing by the general public. And let’s face it; there is no shortage of fodder when it comes to our own bad behavior. Cops make mistakes, just like everyone else, and sometimes our errors involve momentary insanity, huge lapses in judgment, or even criminal behavior.

In my own small suburban area outside of Chicago, a deputy chief was recently accused of dipping into the prescription drug “turn in” program’s evidence locker. He got caught, fired, and indicted, and it made local and national headlines in print, on television and on the Internet. Ouch.

Police Link recently asked this question on their increasingly popular Facebook page: What would you do if you witnessed misconduct by one of your department co-workers? The responses were varied, emotional, and fascinating.

Many respondents wanted more information before they answered the question. “Define misconduct” was a frequent response, as was “it depends on the type of misconduct.” That kind of attitude is typical in our society; we seem to tolerate more and more bad behavior from each other as well as ourselves. In Michelle Malkin’s fantastic best seller, Culture of Corruption, she systematically outlines decades of misconduct involving many of the people currently holding high office in the United States, and yet there was little sustained national outrage regarding her well-researched findings.

We’re just a nation accustomed to our lawmakers “pushing the envelope” ethically; let’s hope we’re not heading in the same direction when in comes to our law enforcers. I agree that engaging in police brutality is not the same as taking a free cup of coffee, but as a profession, we have to take a hard look at own ethical standards and expectations.

Many of the Facebook posts indicated that people set high standards for themselves but didn’t want to be the one to confront someone else’s bad behavior. That’s a dangerous attitude for this profession. I understand not wanting to be the shift snitch but if you witness a fellow officer engaged in misconduct and you simply turn away, you’re just as culpable as they are. We get frustrated with citizens who don’t want to get involved when they witness a crime, how can we do the same thing when it comes to misconduct? But what about “The Thin Blue Line” you ask?

As one post read: “We are held to a higher standard for a reason. I know we are human, but we get paid to be on point.” Another reader added: Where I work, they make it clear that if you see something, you better say something…this is not the “old days” any longer.” When one of us does something wrong, it affects all of us. We need to remember the lessons (and the horrible domino affect) of the Rodney King incident and act accordingly.

Several respondents suggested talking it out, cop to cop, before reporting a fellow officer to the brass. This is called “Tactical Intervention” and is something I teach to police personnel around the nation. It’s important to know how to successfully approach a co-worker when you observe them make an officer safety mistake or treat a citizen poorly.

We also need to know how to intervene when we see things about to go bad off duty, such as stopping a friend who is about to drive drunk or get into a bar room brawl. However, be cautious about putting your own career in jeopardy. If a fellow employee is hell-bent on self destruction or is engaged in misconduct that is well beyond a heart-to-heart chat, then you’re probably not going to want to take this on by yourself.

Which brings us to “report it to a supervisor,” another reoccurring suggestion. But how that supervisor reacts makes all the difference. When my department hired a new chief, he immediately implemented a “no gratuities” policy. We considered ourselves a very ethical agency, so we didn’t give the new edict much thought. The biggest gratuities we ever indulged in were half price meals at select restaurants and free coffee at the local 24 hour convenience stores; we certainly weren’t taking bribes on traffic stops and shaking down tavern owners for protection.

However, when our new boss found out that we had all taken free hotdogs and sodas during an annual town festival, he was livid! Heads were going to roll. But instead of punishing the officers, he went straight to the sergeants, and gave them each suspension time for failing to enforce his new general order. You can bet that there wasn’t a free cup of coffee taken by a cop in our city for years to come. As with almost all cultural change in law enforcement, the sergeants are the key. As one reader said, “When in doubt, go up the chain.”

Sadly, many of the Facebook responses indicated a complete lack of trust in police administrators to do the right thing if misconduct is brought to the attention of a supervisor. Reasonableness and consistency are two key elements for managers and supervisors to consider, and we also need to examine our own ethical behavior not only as individuals, but as leaders and role models in our organizations.

One of our readers said this: “We are not to forget that we are trusted with a great amount of power and if we misuse those powers or turn a blind eye to a colleague, where does that lead is?” That’s a great point for all of us to ponder. As another said, “In law enforcement, the right decision isn’t always the most popular.” Nobody becomes a cop to be popular, we become cops because we have a sense of right and wrong, and we’re on the side of what’s right.

Print this article out and take it to roll call, forward it to your friends, post it on the locker room bulletin board. Keep the discussion going. Our profession and our society may be at stake. Stay safe!


+11
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ExplEngineer

    12 months ago

    4 Comments

    As a Retired Special Agent, former Judge, and now taking a "Sabbatical" & limiting the number of cases that I can effectively participate in while I am in the process of writing a textbook while remaining in private practice, I am often called upon by individual agents and officers for some "informal discussions" as well as retained to represent them, or as an associate to their legal counsel. Rarely is the question as to whether the conduct charged violates the law, or the regulations of the department/agency that employees them, it is virtually always a case of whether or not the Agent/Officer charged has actually violated the specifications or "elements of the offense(s)" of the specific statute or regulation as charged [or if they fail to do so, the specifications or elements of some substitute statute or regulation, and failing that, the general misconduct regulation that they see as the "Catch-All" when they have decided that you did something wrong but they either cannot decide exactly what it is/was, or it really doesn't constitute a violation of any specific statute or regulation, it has either offended a superior or the general public, or they are responding to pressure to "do something" by those omnipresent "They"] As such the most urgent action required of the individual being "charged" is to obtain counsel (legal, union, association, liability insurance carrier, etc.), at a time when in the best case they are "suspended with pay", placed on restricted duty, or in the worst case having been relieved of duty pending the investigation and "suspended without pay" at a time when they will need to muster all financial resources that can, or could become available, not only to provide support for their family and lifestyle, but sufficient to allow them to retain competent representation and to develop and present an appropriate defense, plus since the charged agent/officer will generally be found guilty at the initial trial board or supervisory review (if you have known anyone who has applied for Social Security Disability Compensation this situation is analogous, except that this system will not reimburse you for the expenses of your defense, nor does it set a statutory fee structure that provides some constraint upon the costs of those employed in preparing and presenting your defense, which in many ways is a "good thing" as Martha would say, as most experts and counsel in these areas could not afford to defend you at the rates that are provided for by the Social Security Administration). Unlike the criminals that are the subject of our daily labor, most agents and officers do not anticipate being brought up on either departmental or legal charges as do the criminals who simply view it as a "cost of doing business" thus they rarely have funding set aside for such representation, nor are they familiar with the professionals in this field. At times they do subscribe to a "Legal Defense Fund", however, it is only when it is too late that they realize that this type of organizational funding is fine for the most minor of offenses, it does not provide either the coverage, not the complete package of expertise required to field a "full court press" defense against the type of charges, justified or otherwise, that will threaten your career, your retirement, or your ability to leave the department/agency in question and move on to an alternate employer, even if you should be notified that you will not be formerly charged with the alleged offense, and your "records sealed" if you choose to resign. Think of it this way, they have a virtual army, with an unlimited budget dedicated to proving that you are guilty (despite the fact that they always say that they are just there to "report the facts" and not participate in the adjudication process, nor to have any input into the outcome of your case, and you are in the same position as a wrongfully accused citizen that you are led to believe is, in fact guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, particularly in a "high-profile investigation". Have you ever noticed that in many cases when a defendant that you have charged with an infamous crime such as a sexually-oriented case, particularly one involving a child, is never really has his life and reputation restored should he be acquitted of the charges, or even if after the indictment you develop additional, exculpatory evidence that results in all charges being dropped at your own recommendation. If you knowingly commit a serious (as in "non-traffic" or minor) offense (vis a vis the situation in which those U.S. Border Patrol Agents found themselves in several years ago where the offense was committed while acting, at least in your own mind" in furtherance of your sworn duty where something has "gone horribly wrong") you have resigned from our fraternity (if not your own agency, as well) & may find yourself out on your own. However, it is those (light, almost white) gray areas where your violation is more dependent upon the outcome of your actions than your intent, or your conscientious efforts to comply with the law you were sworn to enforce, and where the penalty may even be less than dismissal, then you will have no choice but to attempt to finance and secure the type of special representation team that will go to whatever lawful ends using ethical means to secure if not an admission from the powers that be that you were wrongly charged and are innocent of that which you were charged, at least sufficient evidence to secure a finding in mitigation that can result in the most positive outcome possible. Just remember that the costs of securing this team and not only funding their fees, but also their expenses, most particularly those expenses such as obtaining second opinions and third-party laboratory analysis, experts that can review such evidentiary issues as the infamous "inconclusive" polygraph report of examination, conducted by an examiner of their choosing but who was only provided with the information that they have elected to allow them access to, just one of the factors that could cause the most conscientious and skilled polygraph examiner to fail to ask the correct, and critical questions that might have resulted in a different outcome, etc, and of course there is the ever-present issue of spoliation and whether or not your agency has retained any original samples, and in quantities that would permit them to be re-examined by a laboratory of your choice, not the laboratory that is run under the auspices of the same head of agency that is pursuing the changes against you. One cannot either live his life, nor pursue his profession and goals in constant fear of these types of events, however, such a potential for (self-) destructive events to occur that cause the agent/officer to find themselvescchcAs a Retired Special Agent, former Judge, and now taking a "Sabbatical" & limiting the number of cases that I can effectively participate in while I am in the process of writing a textbook while remaining in private practice, I am often called upon by individual agents and officers for some "informal discussions" as well as retained to represent them, or as an associate to their legal counsel. Rarely is the question as to whether the conduct charged violates the law, or the regulations of the department/agency that employes them, it is virtually always a case of whether or not the Agent/Officer charged has actually violated the specifications or "elements of the offense(s)" of the specific statute or regulation as charged [or if they fail to do so, the specifications or elements of some substitute statute or regulation, and failing that, the general misconduct regulation that they see as the "Catch-All" when they have decided that you did something wrong but they either cannot decide exactly what it is/was, or it really doesn't constitute a violation of any specific statute or regulation, it has either offended a superior or the general public, or they are responding to pressure to "do something" by those omnipresent "They"] As such the most urgent action required of the individual being "charged" is to obtain counsel (legal, union, association, liability insurance carrier, etc.), at a time when in the best case they are "suspended with pay", placed on restricted duty, or in the worst case having been relieved of duty pending the investigation and "suspended without pay" at a time when they will need to muster all financial resources that can, or could become available, not only to provide support for their family and lifestyle, but sufficient to allow them to retain competent representation and to develop and present an appropriate defense, plus since the charged agent/officer will generally be found guilty at the initial trial board or supervisory review (if you have known anyone who has applied for Social Security Disability Compensation this situation is analogous, except that this system will not reimburse you for the expenses of your defense, nor does it set a statutory fee structure that provides some constraint upon the costs of those employed in preparing and presenting your defense, which in many ways is a "good thing" as Martha would say, as most experts and counsel in these areas could not afford to defend you at the rates that are provided for by the Social Security Administration). Unlike the criminals that are the subject of our daily labor, most agents and officers do not anticipate being brought up on either departmental or legal charges as do the criminals who simply view it as a "cost of doing business" thus they rarely have funding set aside for such representation, nor are they familiar with the professionals in this field. At times they do subscribe to a "Legal Defense Fund", however, it is only when it is too late that they realize that this type of organizational funding is fine for the most minor of offenses, it does not provide either the coverage, not the complete package of expertise required to field a "full court press" defense against the type of charges, justified or otherwise, that will threaten your career, your retirement, or your ability to leave the department/agency in question and move on to an alternate employer, even if you should be notified that you will not be formerly charged with the alleged offense, and your "records sealed" if you choose to resign. Think of it this way, they have a virtual army, with an unlimited budget dedicated to proving that you are guilty (despite the fact that they always say that they are just there to "report the facts" and not participate in the adjudication process, nor to have any input into the outcome of your case, and you are in the same position as a wrongfully accused citizen that you are led to believe is, in fact guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, particularly in a "high-profile investigaton". Have you ever noticed that in many cases when a defendant that you have charged with an infamous crime such as a sexually-oriented case, particularly one involving a child, is never really has his life and reputation restored should he be acquitted of the charges, or even if after the indictment you develop additional, exculpatory evidence that results in all charges being dropped at your own recommendation. If you knowingly commit a serious (as in "non-traffic" or minor) offense (vis a vis the situation in which those U.S. Border Patrol Agents found themselves in several years ago where the offense was committed while acting, at least in your own mind" in furtherance of your sworn duty where something has "gone horribly wrong") you have resigned from our fraternity (if not your own agency, as well) & may find yourself out on your own. However, it is those (light, almost white) gray areas where your violation is more dependent upon the outcome of your actions than your intent, or your conscientious efforts to comply with the law you were sworn to enforce, and where the penalty may even be less than dismissal, then you will have no choice but to attempt to finance and secure the type of special representation team that will go to whatever lawful ends using ethical means to secure if not an admission from the powers that be that you were wrongly charged and are innocent of that which you were charged, at least sufficient evidence to secure a finding in mitigation that can result in the most positive outcome possible. Just remember that the costs of securing this team and not only funding their fees, but also their expenses, most particularly those expenses such as obtaining second opinions and third-party laboratory analysis, experts that can review such evidentiary issues as the infamous "inconclusive" polygraph report of examination, conducted by an examiner of their choosing but who was only provided with the information that they have elected to allow them access to, just one of the factors that could cause the most conscientious and skilled polygraph examiner to fail to ask the correct, and critical questions that might have resulted in a different ourcome, etc, and of course there is the ever-present issue of spoliation and whether or not your agency has retained any original samples, and in quantities that would permit them to be re-examined by a laboratory of your choice, not the laboratory that is run under the auspices of the same head of agecy that is pursuing the changes against you. One cannot either live his life, nor pursue his profession and goals in constant fear of these types of events, however, such a potential for (self-) destructive events to occur that cause the agent/officer to find themself in need of a a defense team for such circumstances should they occur. One final thought, if you rise through the ranks of your agency, not withstanding any personal costs or sacrifices, your fellow officers will expect that you will not (or at least not knowingly and/or willfully) allow yourself to become so ensonsced in the structure of the organization that you lose sight of its mission, which is to protect not only the civilian population against erroneous or improper exercise of the lawful authority of a law enforcement officer, which at times can even extend to a judgment as to life and death in the deployment of deadly force in a manner consistent with the laws that you are sworn to enforce, but to protect those within the profession to the same extent and with the same degree of professional dedication. As an early mentor of mine once said, the problem with good cops is not that they "go bad", it is that they on occasion find themselves reminded that they are only human by the fact that they can and do, on occasion make mistakes and it is only the the resultant consequences of their mistake that govern the disciplinary actions taken against therm and not either their intent, or even the benefit of the doubt in instances where it may have truly been a "judgement call". Beyond reproach does not imply freedom from any and all errors and vices of humanity.As a Retired Special Agent, former Judge, and now taking a "Sabbatical" & limiting the number of cases that I can effectively participate in while I am in the process of writing a textbook while remaining in private practice, I am often called upon by individual agents and officers for some "informal discussions" as well as retained to represent them, or as an associate to their legal counsel. Rarely is the question as to whether the conduct charged violates the law, or the regulations of the department/agency that employes them, it is virtually always a case of whether or not the Agent/Officer charged has actually violated the specifications or "elements of the offense(s)" of the specific statute or regulation as charged [or if they fail to do so, the specifications or elements of some substitute statute or regulation, and failing that, the general misconduct regulation that they see as the "Catch-All" when they have decided that you did something wrong but they either cannot decide exactly what it is/was, or it really doesn't constitute a violation of any specific statute or regulation, it has either offended a superior or the general public, or they are responding to pressure to "do something" by those omnipresent "They"] As such the most urgent action required of the individual being "charged" is to obtain counsel (legal, union, association, liability insurance carrier, etc.), at a time when in the best case they are "suspended with pay", placed on restricted duty, or in the worst case having been relieved of duty pending the investigation and "suspended without pay" at a time when they will need to muster all financial resources that can, or could become available, not only to provide support for their family and lifestyle, but sufficient to allow them to retain competent representation and to develop and present an appropriate defense, plus since the charged agent/officer will generally be found guilty at the initial trial board or supervisory review (if you have known anyone who has applied for Social Security Disability Compensation this situation is analogous, except that this system will not reimburse you for the expenses of your defense, nor does it set a statutory fee structure that provides some constraint upon the costs of those employed in preparing and presenting your defense, which in many ways is a "good thing" as Martha would say, as most experts and counsel in these areas could not afford to defend you at the rates that are provided for by the Social Security Administration). Unlike the criminals that are the subject of our daily labor, most agents and officers do not anticipate being brought up on either departmental or legal charges as do the criminals who simply view it as a "cost of doing business" thus they rarely have funding set aside for such representation, nor are they familiar with the professionals in this field. At times they do subscribe to a "Legal Defense Fund", however, it is only when it is too late that they realize that this type of organizational funding is fine for the most minor of offenses, it does not provide either the coverage, not the complete package of expertise required to field a "full court press" defense against the type of charges, justified or otherwise, that will threaten your career, your retirement, or your ability to leave the department/agency in question and move on to an alternate employer, even if you should be notified that you will not be formerly charged with the alleged offense, and your "records sealed" if you choose to resign. Think of it this way, they have a virtual army, with an unlimited budget dedicated to proving that you are guilty (despite the fact that they always say that they are just there to "report the facts" and not participate in the adjudication process, nor to have any input into the outcome of your case, and you are in the same position as a wrongfully accused citizen that you are led to believe is, in fact guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, particularly in a "high-profile investigaton". Have you ever noticed that in many cases when a defendant that you have charged with an infamous crime such as a sexually-oriented case, particularly one involving a child, is never really has his life and reputation restored should he be acquitted of the charges, or even if after the indictment you develop additional, exculpatory evidence that results in all charges being dropped at your own recommendation. If you knowingly commit a serious (as in "non-traffic" or minor) offense (vis a vis the situation in which those U.S. Border Patrol Agents found themselves in several years ago where the offense was committed while acting, at least in your own mind" in furtherance of your sworn duty where something has "gone horribly wrong") you have resigned from our fraternity (if not your own agency, as well) & may find yourself out on your own. However, it is those (light, almost white) gray areas where your violation is more dependent upon the outcome of your actions than your intent, or your conscientious efforts to comply with the law you were sworn to enforce, and where the penalty may even be less than dismissal, then you will have no choice but to attempt to finance and secure the type of special representation team that will go to whatever lawful ends using ethical means to secure if not an admission from the powers that be that you were wrongly charged and are innocent of that which you were charged, at least sufficient evidence to secure a finding in mitigation that can result in the most positive outcome possible. Just remember that the costs of securing this team and not only funding their fees, but also their expenses, most particularly those expenses such as obtaining second opinions and third-party laboratory analysis, experts that can review such evidentiary issues as the infamous "inconclusive" polygraph report of examination, conducted by an examiner of their choosing but who was only provided with the information that they have elected to allow them access to, just one of the factors that could cause the most conscientious and skilled polygraph examiner to fail to ask the correct, and critical questions that might have resulted in a different ourcome, etc, and of course there is the ever-present issue of spoliation and whether or not your agency has retained any original samples, and in quantities that would permit them to be re-examined by a laboratory of your choice, not the laboratory that is run under the auspices of the same head of agecy that is pursuing the changes against you. One cannot either live his life, nor pursue his profession and goals in constant fear of these types of events, however, such a potential for (self-) destructive events to occur that cause the agent/officer to find themself in need of a a defense team for such circumstances should they occur. One final thought, if you rise through the ranks of your agency, not withstanding any personal costs or sacrifices, your fellow officers will expect that you will not (or at least not knowingly and/or willfully) allow yourself to become so ensonsced in the structure of the organization that you lose sight of its mission, which is to protect not only the civilian population against erroneous or improper exercise of the lawful authority of a law enforcement officer, which at times can even extend to a judgment as to life and death in the deployment of deadly force in a manner consistent with the laws that you are sworn to enforce, but to protect those within the profession to the same extent and with the same degree of professional dedication. As an early mentor of mine once said, the problem with good cops is not that they "go bad", it is that they on occasion find themselves reminded that they are only human by the fact that they can and do, on occasion make mistakes and it is only the the resultant consequences of their mistake that govern the disciplinary actions taken against therm and not either their intent, or even the benefit of the doubt in instances where it may have truly been a "judgement call". Beyond reproach does not imply freedom from any and all errors and vices of humanity in need of a a defense team for such circumstances should they occur. One final thought, if you rise through the ranks of your agency, not withstanding any personal costs or sacrifices, your fellow officers will expect that you will not (or at least not knowingly and/or willfully) allow yourself to become so ensonced in the structure of the organization that you lose sight of its mission, which is to protect not only the civilian population against erroneous or improper exercise of the lawful authority of a law enforcement officer, which at times can even extend to a judgment as to life and death in the deployment of deadly force in a manner consistent with the laws that you are sworn to enforce, but to protect those within the profession to the same extent and with the same degree of professional dedication. As an early mentor of mine once said, the problem with good cops is not that they "go bad", it is that they on occasion find themselves reminded that they are only human by the fact that they can and do, on occasion make mistakes and it is only the the resultant consequences of their mistake that govern the disciplinary actions taken against therm and not either their intent, or even the benefit of the doubt in instances where it may have truly been a "judgement call". Beyond reproach does not imply freedom from any and all errors and vices of humanity. Relinquere omnes qui sperant non ingredieris huc, adhuc remanebit cognoscitivus perceptiones alios, dum ea.

  • Hawaii_063_max50

    Zandra777

    almost 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    I want to print this and pick it.. We are suppose to be human and 100% perfect even when there are people that lie about us, cause us grief, etc., no one is perfect, only God. I would go to a co-worker before (in any profession within reason) before ruining them. We are the first ones you (civilians) call when you need help, first one to slam us under the bus before or after. We love our job and we are here to protect and serve you, please feel free to join us.

  • Tbilisi_police_max50

    shananigans86

    almost 3 years ago

    166 Comments

    Agreed. I've seen way to many posts on here where TPoop, I mean TKoop, has been throwing in the negative remarks. Thanks for supporting you're local law enforcement agency you mindless, selfish, conceited human being. Enjoy you tax hikes.

  • Az_phx_motorcade1a_max50

    Bury

    almost 3 years ago

    1340 Comments

    What is with the liberal Troll TKOOP?

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    almost 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    Everyone is subject to errors. It's what one does after that that makes or breaks you. Learn from your mistakes. You can get bitter or you can get better. It's a choice.

  • 10775813-c7a0bb2a3c2065623bd4b59f30599803

    zaldron

    almost 3 years ago

    12 Comments

    We are all only human, badge or not.

  • Robocop_max50

    the_ANTIDRUG

    almost 3 years ago

    96 Comments

    When my fellow professionals move to the dark side; i help take them out. That is loyalty to my profession and society.
    PS: were not talking about donuts; were talking the darkside.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    almost 3 years ago

    23592 Comments

    Well written article with good advice. The measure of a persons character is what they do even when no one is looking.

  • Segway-police-unit-china_max50

    foxblood

    almost 3 years ago

    396 Comments

    @boyblue06 – your response and many many many others really restore my faith in that uniform. Like I said before. I’m a neutral person when it comes to the whole subject of the tone of this website and Cop Culture as a whole. I’ve been “under the wing of protection” by being next of kin at one time. And I’ve also moved away from it and been subject to abuse from some folks that carry the badge who lowered my respect level for the police community. I’ve taken Jujitsu classes with really great cops and air marshals who are excellent people and I’ve seen a video of cops from Newburgh, NY take a blank man into the station in once piece and leave on a stretcher. They didn’t loose their jobs but they were transferred to other stations in other locations. They also brutalized the man who taped the act and put it on local access for all to see. I’m a mixed bag when it comes to the controversy of the badge. And that’s just what it is. There’s great cops with great mind sets out there and I’m happy to see so many talking it out on this website. Keep up the good work fellas. It makes me feel safe that you’re out there.

  • Segway-police-unit-china_max50

    foxblood

    almost 3 years ago

    396 Comments

    @pawfarr - well said, very well said sir :)

  • 66880303_max50

    boyblu06

    almost 3 years ago

    20 Comments

    “In law enforcement, the right decision isn’t always the most popular." That couldn't be a more true statement. I find myself struggling with that from time to time. Being the new guy in the squad it's hard to tell a 17 year vet "Hey, you shouldn't have done that" or "According to the General Orders...". I guess it's just one of those things that everyone goes through. In my case I know who the guys are that tap dance on the line and I try to stay clear of them whenever possible. In this age of the ever popular cell phone camera just standing on the side line is just as bad as delivering the blows or the fowl language...youtube doesn't care, with that uniform on we are all the same.

  • 128721647209537914_max50

    CKWare

    almost 3 years ago

    22 Comments

    To those that say that misconduct = criminal, you obviously haven't been on either side of the investigation. Misconduct can be anything from not showing up for hireback (overtime) or court (for whatever reason), sloppy paperwork, accepting ANY reduced price item or freebee, "rude and discourteous" (can be anything from not saying please and thank you, cursing, to "tone" used), to criminal offenses (the ones that normally hit the papers and reinforce the negative stereotypes certain portions of society have of police). Each one gets investigated, with varying layers of complexity. It IS possible that an officer can be found sustained on the complaint, and charged with a criminal act, sustained on the complaint but doesn't rise to the level of a criminal act, or not sustained. Even if it is not sustained, there may be retraining recommended, to reduce the posibility of a future violation. All this while protecting the employee's rights (yes, officers do have a measure of Due Process). Should there be a criminal offense, not only can the officer be charged locally, they can be charged locally and for a federal violation, or for a federal violation even if the locality finds a lack of evidence to pursue criminal charges. Prior to the finding, the officer may be pulled from their assignment and be put on "desk duty" which normally means they no longer have weapons, or suspended-either with or without pay-pending the investigation's completion.

    Confused yet?

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    Tkoop

    almost 3 years ago

    10 Comments

    Shamrock61
    You are part of the problem

    " If you see a LEO show up at a break in at the local hardware store and he is filling his pockets with batteries don't be afraid to remind him that you are there to catch thieves, not become one. He may not like it, but will more than likely put them back."

    What reason would you have for not arresting that thief? Because he is a fellow officer? That makes your profession look like a bunch of hipocrites. A badge and gun does not make you above the laws.

    “We are not to forget that we are trusted with a great amount of power and if we misuse those powers or turn a blind eye to a colleague, where does that lead is?”

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Shamrock61

    almost 3 years ago

    314 Comments

    Most large departments have their own IID or IAD divisions for investigating misconduct. But on the question of one LEO who observes another LEO commit an infraction, that is another story. If it is a misconduct that involves the breaking of a law, then it is mandatory for that person to approach the offender and tell that LEO that he/she has got to stop the actvity and report themself or the observer will report it. If it is something like accepting a free cup of coffee while walking or working a post, I have to say that is cutting it too thin. If the LEO goes in and orders something and then walks out without paying is a lot different than accepted an offered free coffee. I found that it was easier to say thank you and accept the small offering, rather than making a big deal out of it. On the other hand if you order a lunch or dinner and they say it is on the house, I would never accept that. If they insisted, I would pay at least 50% of the tab and then not go back there again. I say 50% because that is the general mark up on sold food items and you are not taking anything without at least paying the cost of the materials of the meal. Most of us will readily give the old cliche of ONE BAD APPLE SPOILS THE BARREL. And it is old and still holds true. One LEO makes headlines and all are painted with the same brush. If you see a LEO show up at a break in at the local hardware store and he is filling his pockets with batteries don't be afraid to remind him that you are there to catch thieves, not become one. He may not like it, but will more than likely put them back.

  • Work_camera_1010_005_max50

    Georgewh

    almost 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    It comes down to you, and me...as a person. I want my community to trust me..explicitly. To know that what I say is truth beyond doubt. To know what I do is, without doubt, in the best interest of public safety...and my safety. There are the gray areas. But if people know me as just, fair, and honest...I will prevail. The same goes for my partners. I've been a cop for near 30 years...I know what I say. The US has the most trustworthy cops on the planet. Our word is ultimate in the Supreme Court! Hold yourself to that standard.

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