2006-02-27

Who Polices the Police?

"If you're the victim of a crime, you know you can call police for help. But, what if it's a police officer's conduct that has you concerned?

Who do you complain to then?

The Investigators put 18 police stations in 15 southeastern Wisconsin cities to a hidden camera test. We asked them all the same question. How do you file a complaint against a police officer?

We never mentioned a specific incident. And we never named an officer. We just wanted to know the procedure, and if there was a form we could take home."

This is a problem endemic to all of America. It is not an attempt to paint all officers with the same brush. Every member of law enforcement chooses to literally put their lives on the line to keep others safe and all of them deserve respect for that. I've been lucky to encounter some outstanding officers who genuinely care and are really trying to make the world a better, safer place.

I've encountered the other kind of officer as well. The kind who think they are a law unto themselves. There are many levels of corruption - some more insidious than others. Check out Police Complaint Center to get a perspective.

3 comments:

Jim Winter said...

I went to high school with this kid who once gave me a hard time over not taking a cheerleader while she was passed out at a party. I said to him, "Isn't that rape?" He said not if she never knows.

This fine, upstanding specimen of manhood became a police officer in my hometown, then police chief of a little speed trap township. How'd he lose his job?

The sheriff arrested him on six counts of rape.

Nathan said...

Number of "interactions" I've had with officers of the law in my lifetime:
too many to count.

Number of officers of the law I've met that were NOT corrupt or just plain assholes:
0



But I remain optimistic . . .

Jennifer Jordan said...

It can't be just a testosterone thing because if that were the case, all guys would be assholes.

With the bad cops I've encountered it seems like a control thing and a serious racial profiling thing mixed with, at times, a mediocre amount of intelligence.

Jim, your story is scary but not surprising. What does that say about much of law enforcement?

Again, I've met good cops. They are out there. But there aren't enough of them.