Monday, October 13, 2008

Criminals in the Police Force?

I wanted to share something that I was scared and bothered by, but didn't really surprise me. Apparently, 1 in 3 recent Atlanta Police Academy graduates have criminal records. This bothers me for a whole bunch of obvious reasons. (read the full article here) One that I've really been thinking about is the rational behind why these people might want to join the police force. I fear that in some cases they are seeking power. Now, I'm not saying all fall into that category, however I don't like the thought of someone without the best of intentions in a position of law enforcement. Let me know what you think about this issue? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Lilly said...

Do you know Jessica that I heard the same thing about the Australian police force too? I was shocked. Does it mean that now so many people have a criminal record that they cannot find recruits easily anymore? I guess it depends what their record is exactly but with the sotries you hear about crooked cops all the time isnt this asking for trouble??? I liked this post, thanks.

Arv said...

wow... thats an interesting find... but can you really help it? no one cares abt it much to stop it from happening... and it goes all the way to the leaders in some countries.

A New Yorker said...

Why should ANYONE convicted of a crime be allowed to become a police officer?

Anonymous Mom said...

I'd like to know if there is some sort of guidelines for how serious the crime committed is. It would be ideal to have officers with no record whatsoever, but like Lilly mentioned, perhaps there isn't enough interest from people with totally clean records? Either way its very scary to think that the people we count on to uphold the law and protect us are criminals themselves!

jackie said...

Very interesting... I would've thought they wouldn't be allowed to become police officers at all. Thinking about the rationale behind it, though... maybe being arrested was the best thing that happened to some of them. If getting in to trouble got them off the streets, they could feel like the police saved them and turned their lives around.. which would make them want to do the same thing for others. Maybe that's just being optimistic; I'm sure a lot of them do just want the power, but hopefully the screening/testing process is strenuous enough to eliminate anyone truly dangerous!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is shocking. Let's hope it was mostly for something minor like DWI or got caught smoking a joint at a concert or something.

1 in 3...that's unbelievable.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

say WHAT????

Mike said...


Cops have power. There are LOTS of people who get stiffies from power, and so lots of them are cops.

There are lots and lots of sociopaths out there, to varying degrees. One trait of a sociopath is the ability to charm their way through....

That's why I don't trust cops.

Aleta said...

Part of me hopes that those who have the criminal record want to become cops to make restitution. After all, it takes a criminal to know and find a criminal?

But the reality is that there are a good number of police officers that are corrupt and power hungry. Those scare me.

Then again ~ there are those who take on the job with the respect that it needs and deserves. During the last hurricane evac. I was thankful for their ever present force and dedication.

whisperinthenight said...

I'ts George Orwell's 1984... the Criminals are the Law Enforcers and the public are the criminals.

Jennifer said...

That is scary stuff! It's perplexing that so many w/ criminal records want to become police officers--I can't make any sense of it!

Joy deep Majumder said...

Peter Parker said "With great power comes great responsibility."

On an optimistic note i would love to beleive that those police officers may have undergone major positive paradigm shifts and must have turned more responsible with all that power.

In any case their past criminal experience help them to understanding the psyche of the criminals...bcoz they have been their..done that.

Its a win win situation..

Its said..lets hate the crime not the criminal...specailly when he/she wants to change for good...

Anonymous said...

Its sad. But having a criminal record is one thing and getting convicted of a crime is another. I don't think any police force retains anyone convicted anywhere in the world.


Jessica said...

Welcome Lilly, thanks for stopping by! :) Come by anytime!
Scary, but I think that it is happening around the world, more than we realize. And I agree with you, I think, it’s asking for trouble.

That make me sad Arv, sad.

They shouldn’t be, in my opinion. I think Arv has hit the nail on the head. Also, in this particular case, I know that the police force needed recruits, and no one was really showing much interest, so they let certain things slide.

In the article it said that people who had felony convictions were not accepted, an all else was on a case-by-case basis. It’s scary…if you can’t trust cops to up hold the law, who else can you trust? Yikes.

Nice to see you here! :) I love the way you’re looking at this issue…you ARE bringing optimism to the table, which is wonderful. A very good thing!

I hope, hope, hope that most come from the category of having turned their lives around.

Love you!

1 in 3 crazy statistics! I agree.

Yep, you heard right, unfortunately. :(

I guess, I was just naive when it came to this topic. I never thought of cops as criminals, at least before they joined the force.

I’m glad that they were so dedicated during a much needed time! :)

Good book, and you just may be right…scary.

Welcome here. :) Come back anytime. You said it exactly—“I can’t make any sense of it.” So true! That’s why I had to write this post.

Thanks for stopping by. :) Hope to see you again.
I like your optimism too…I just hope that is the case….with them all.

Welcome! :) Come back soon.
Hmm, I’m not sure about that one…it would be interesting to check out.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea you could have a record and become a police officer. I am always naive and an optimist, so I am hoping they do it because they have turned their lives around and are looking for a way to help others do so also.

crazy, huh?

david santos said...

Well, well, weel!
Congratulations! Have a nice day.

Jessica said...

Hi Vixen,
I know, me too...I had no idea. Crazy, and disappointing, I think.

Welcome David. Thanks for your comment, and visit.

Real Live Lesbian said...

That's just flat out scary. I thought they had to have a clean record and pass a psych test and stuff!

Jessica said...

Real Live,
Hopefully a psych test...I never thought of that. :/

Malcolm said...

At first I was shocked and a bit horrified. Once I read the article, I began to understand that getting people who want to protect and serve must be difficult. Although I understand, it doesn't necessarily make me sleep any easier because it's probably happening where I live as well. Something else I found troubling about the article is the number of applicants who were rejected by several other agencies before they were accepted by the Atlanta Police Academy. That would seem to be a flag dipped in crimson.

Jessica said...

Yeah, Malcolm.
That worried me as well..they couldn't meet the criteria at other agencies, so the Atlanta police department took them. Doesn't make much since to me. Personally, I would rather have a few good men/women on the job than criminals weeded in to inflate the numbers.

Lina said...

Frightening stuff...i know a friend of mine here was looking to be a cop and then got a he's basically screwed if it isnt dismissed...i guess it's different for every state?
Oh and thanks for the comments..lots of changes going on! Hope all is well.

Jessica said...

Hi Lina,
Interesting about your friend. I guess it is different in every state. Probably every county even.

Change is good. :) *hugs* back to you!