My one solution to arresting bad police officers. Are we concerned enough about this problem?
I received many messages yesterday from people from all walks of life expressing the fact that my many articles as well as the police news I write finally convinced them that America has a problem with bad cops. I only had one person asked me, somewhat smartly, but fairly, "Robert, you complain about the problem, but offer one solution to decrease the problem that would make sense."
Well I'll give you one solution, as humbly as I can say it. First though, to the many that wrote yesterday with a new view on this problem, I wish to say only that I'm happy you see the problem, and generally speaking, now we can began to fix the problem.
My one solution:
First a little history. Understand that many police departments are political entities. The mayors of every city are elected by the citizens, but the mayor appoints the police chief (that's the first problem). In other words, the police chief serves at the discretion of the mayor. Next, the police chief appoints many subordinates with an understanding that he must protect the chief's image as well as the mayor's image. This means most deputy police chiefs and/or assistant police chiefs are "hand picked" with care by the chief. This is why you see "department shakeups" quickly if some particular crime is not solve quickly or some other special problem concerning the mayor's or chief's image is threaten. These groups of people are politically sensitive!
Next, there is an automatic assumption with police supervisors and the courts that if you or I receive anything from a citation to a felony arrest that the cop is right and we are guilty! That's a bad assumption. This in itself automatically gives most cops the "power" feeling. He knows that even if he's wrong he has an edge!
I reported over the last few months alone police officers arrested for murders, theft, burglaries, fraud, rapes, robberies, police brutalities, and other crimes. Here's a quick fact and observation about the above statement. Haven't you noticed that criminals on the street get arrested for those same things? In other words, some cops are just common criminals who "slipped" through the review process (I did 30 years ago). So what's at least one good solution?
In my humble opinion there is only one "major" policy implementation, assisted of course by other policies that will have an immediate effect. It's practiced and implemented by the CIA and the FBI.
There should be a separate police unit that surveils, follows, tapes, records, and actually monitors ALL police officers in their squad cars as they work! They should also be monitored during their off times as well. One might say, "isn't that going too far, off times? Well, statistically speaking, many bad cops strike when there off duty. In essence, a police officer is a cop twenty four hours a day!
Listen, when a police officer rapes your beautiful wife or your innocent 15 year old child, you won't give a hoot about anything else. Many spies and other people are caught by using these methods. This special unit should not be under the auspices of the police chiefs nor the mayors. In other words, totally independent and free from political decisions.
This unit should be allowed to actually create scenarios to catch bad cops in traps! Oh Robert one might say, isn't that going too far as well? Well police departments in many cities use "bait cars" to apprehend car thieves, they utilize "road blocks" to catch common citizens with an expired license plate, they use radar while "hiding" under some oak tree or 'hiding" in or near some place to catch you. Their statement, actually made quite boldly is, "you were violating a law therefore it's not entrapment." Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander!
If they can catch a cop planting drugs on someone, or hitting a citizen for no cause, or raping our women, then they are fair game. And oh, by the way, one might say, don't police departments, most anyway Robert, have internal affairs divisions? Yes they do. But here are two reasons why they should not be connected to this special unit. First many, if not all internal affairs officers were patrolmens before they became a part of internal affairs. They worked with many of the cops and became friends with many of them. I can remember countless times when I was on the force that I ate lunch or dinner with internal affair officers. The second problem, internal affairs usually don't act unless they get a complaint from a citizen. They are reactive, not proactive!
As usual, my position is against bad cops, not good cops, and all of us, including all of you who are reading this article have an obligation to your families and love ones to protect them from ANY bad event, especially bad cops. Come up with innovative solutions and email or write your representatives, both local and federal, with your opinions. And another thing, don't be afraid to express your feeling if asked "what do you think."
Understand this, no police officer, at any time, has the right to violate other citizens. No cop is under me, but no cop is above me as well. My motto, "every cop is not a good cop, many cops are good cops, some cops are bad cops." Take care and watch your backs!