I’ve been asked an intriguing question. It wasn’t sarcastic but a sincere question. They asked, “Robert, do you personally know of any good cops”? I’m proud to say yes. Matter of fact, many of my articles and television interviews would be impossible for me to write or speak about without good cops assisting me.
Most of the times, my articles about bad cops are given to me by the good cops that work in that particular police department, and oftentimes, the good cops worked with the accused bad cop on patrol! That’s also why you may have seen a story I wrote about uploaded almost as fast as the media reported the bad cop! I network with approximately 20– 25 police officers, good officers across the United States, and some are overseas. Some are actually ranked officers…in the know! I even speak personally with a few police chiefs. (I even had a few readers report that they didn't know the Reno, Nevada serial killer was apprehended, until they read my report! It wasn't reported in the mass media, but thanks to a cop friend with that department).
One of my best friends is a cop, and my manager is actually a retired good cop, a detective! Surprise huh? Believe me, if he thought any of my articles were unfair, he would have long ago given me his disapproval. Matter of fact, my manager and I thought it weird that I was once a bad cop and he just happened to be a good cop, and somehow we met! In fact, he’s actually now a police chaplain as well as manages my speeches and tours. I also worked with various attorneys and criminologists (see my bio) and actually speak occasionally to a serial killer profiler. It’s funny, I probably network with more cops now than when I served on the New Orleans Police Department in the 70’s!
Even though many of my articles are about rogue cops, I do know that good cops are out there, but the fact is… their good work is overshadowed by the violations of that bad cop. This pretty much is the case with many professions. Also, I don’t subscribe to many people’s opinion that some good cops don’t want to rat out bad cops. If any cop don’t immediately report a bad cop, or condone a bad cop’s tactics, that very cop is actually bad.
Let me illustrate a good point. If a police officer repairs a citizen’s car on Avenue A, or assist a robbery victim on Avenue A, but then beats a citizen on Avenue B, he’s a bad cop! Even though the citizens he assisted will swear that he’s a good officer,(based on their experiences), they don’t know the real officer! This is so with many police officers! This is precisely why when a bad officer is arrested for a crime you hear, “that’s not the person I knew”. This is also why many police supervisors and chiefs support bad cops initially; they only see the good side of that officer (an act).
Another thing I don’t support is an automatic belief by the system that the cop is telling the truth. This is actually a cop’s strongest ace card. He knows that he will get the benefit of the doubt. But I believe it should be the citizen that receives that benefit, (if anyone should receive it). Give the citizen that benefit, and later through an internal affairs investigation, if the cop is innocent, then exonerate him!. Then that citizen that lied, prosecute him or her to the fullest extent allowed by law!
What's forgotten by the system? The fact that it’s just another person word who says he’s honest, against a common citizen! (By the way, I don't know of ANY good cops that have a problem with my articles exposing bad cops!). In some strange way, the system is saying that a cop's word is more honest and truthful than a citizen's words. Nobody's word is more important than another...period!
I believe I bring to the table a unique prospective about police officers, bad and good, having been a good cop once, a bad cop later, and a common criminal to boot! My experiences as a cop, along with my knowledge of the constitution, and my personal knowledge of police tricks, tactics, and procedures, have placed me in a unique position to know with a reasonable certainty, that too much credence is given to too many bad cops, instead of the citizens! I have no apologies for that insight! Be careful all!