Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chicago Police Involved In High Profile Attacks

What is Happening With the Chicago Police Department?

Chicago Police have been involved in two high profile abuse cases in the past few months. The most recent case involves a female bartender, beaten by an off-duty officer because she refused to serve him more drinks. Apparently he had reached his limit.

The other case involves 6 off duty officers who allegedly attacked a group of businessmen in another Chicago bar incident. Both cases were caught on video.

These incidents (occurring just a few months apart) raise questions about Police standards, in terms of hiring and in terms of off duty behavior once an officer has been hired. These kinds of incidents are just an example of chickens coming home to roost for these big city police departments. Most of these departments have hiring criteria that attract & fast-track meatheads prone to this kind of behavior, rather than hiring people who would be the best for the job. For example, applicants typically get moved up on the hiring list simply because they are former military (NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BEST FOR THE JOB).

Most police departments put more emphasis on physical fitness in their recruiting programs, rather than mental fitness... so it is no surprise that these incidents are occurring more often.

Police departments should not allow officers to carry their badges of guns if they are going to be drinking in bars off-duty. They really should not be allowed to frequent bars or drink at all off-duty, but if they are allowed to do so, they should not be allowed to carry their credentials. Some police departments already have similar policies in place. Although I don't know how that would have impacted these cases. But when hiring new officers, more should be done to weed out potential problem drinkers and people who frequent bars.

The rationale for having a no bar or no drinking policy is that police officers are really never off-duty. They may be called upon to act at anytime. And in order to be ready at all times, they must have a clear head...and must not be under the influence of alcohol.

Character and behavior standards seem to be lacking in many major police departments across the country. The mediocre pay, and the lack of good recruits may be responsible for the more relaxed standards and the lack of good policies.

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