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I don’t doubt but that the majority of police are trying to do the right thing. The problem is that the ones that aren’t are tolerated. “Independent review” has practically become code for “nothing will happen”. The police unions protect their own no matter how egregious the conduct. Police Chiefs tend to look the other way, though I don’t really understand that one because it could eventually cost the chief his or her job when the public gets angry enough. Part of the problem is that candidates aren’t being well enough screened and trained.

Here in VT last year an officer in one town was promptly arrested and fired when it was discovered he stole drugs from the evidence locker. New security procedures were quickly instituted. The chief signaled the community and the rest of her force that she will not tolerate corruption and that what happened will not happen again. That’s the kind of leadership that is needed in every community. This past winter there were 2 instances where police were arrested for DUI. In many places police would have looked the other way when they realized it was a fellow officer driving drunk. That they were instead arrested gives the community confidence that police don’t see themselves as being above the law. This is the way it should be.

If the reason people get speeding tickets or other moving violations is so as to encourage safe driving habits and keep the roadways safe, then off duty police should get tickets too when they get pulled over, yet they don’t. My brother has a heavy foot and whenever he got pulled over, he’d just flash his Sheriff’s Dept badge and would be on his way no matter what town he was pulled over in. They view it as professional courtesy. I view it as a double standard and low grade corruption.