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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Firing Bad Cops

     Police unions, civil service, law enforcement solidarity, and the right of arbitration, makes firing a police officer extremely difficult. Once a police officer is on the job, short of being convicted of a felony, he stays on the force. Poor job performance, behavior unbecoming a law enforcement officer, and general unfitness for the work, are generally not grounds for dismissal.
     While it's easier to get your hands on top-secret CIA files than a police officer's personnel jacket, there are thousands of cops on the job with employment histories laden with citizen complaints and disciplinary actions. A brutal, dishonest, lazy, and/or incompetent police officer can stick around until retirement. Many get out early by fabricating  phony medical disability claims, then take up water sports in Miami. And there is very little a police chief can do about it. In law enforcement, the higher one goes up the chain of command, the less power one has. Moreover, it is much easier to get rid of a chief of police than a rank and file officer.

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