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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: The Corruption of Narcotic Cops in Philadelphia

     The arrests of six longtime narcotics officers on federal corruption charges on July 30, 2014 prompted Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey to reiterate his call for the department to regularly rotate narcotic officers out of the drug unit.

     Such a move is prohibited by the police union contract and is one that Fraternal Order of Police president John McNesby has long opposed. In contract negotiations Ramsey had sought to permission to transfer narcotics officers every five years in a effort to discourage corruption.

     On July 20, 2014, the police commissioner told reporters that allowing officers to remain in specialized units for long periods prevented other officers from getting a chance to serve in these units. And if officers started cutting corners they could, over time, fall into "bad habits."

     The police union fought time limits for serving in narcotics squads arguing that experience in the unit allowed officers to become more skilled and specialized and build better relationships with informants….

Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, "Ramsey Calls Anew for Narcotics Squad Rotation," Philadelphia Inquirer, July 31, 2014 

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