If you haven’t ever heard the term ‘job-hopping’ when referring to a police officer then you’re not alone. Many people aren’t aware of this dangerous practice, and how it can negatively impact the lives of us Michigan citizens. And yet it happens here often enough to be a problem. Often enough, in fact, that Michigan legislators recently made the practice much more difficult for cops with a questionable work history in law enforcement. Not sure what we’re talking about? Let’s have a closer look at this unpleasant issue right here, and right now.
What is a ‘job-hopping’ cop?
A ‘job-hopping’ cop, also sometimes called a ‘gypsy officer,’ is a law enforcement officer who works at a department until they get into trouble for violating someone’s rights, not following department policy or breaking the law. After being fired, or quitting, they simply move on to the next department, where they do it all over again. And how exactly can a cop go from one department to another when they’re in trouble, and suffer no consequences? Surely other departments would never hire a cop with a record of violence, or ‘cowboying’? Ahhh, if only that were the case…
How were officers accused of misconduct dealt with here in in Michigan?
Law enforcement agencies often decide it is easier to tell an officer to resign, rather than fire them. This is due to the often expensive legal bills and lengthy hearing process involved in firing a police officer. And that’s not all. When that cop applies for a new job in another department, and their prospective employer calls to ask about their track record, the previous department often gives very little information, for fear of being sued by the officer. The result? ‘Bad’ cops simply move from one department to the next, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.
‘Job-hopping’ cops are a problem throughout the country!
In 2015, a national investigation conducted by The Associated Press revealed that police officers accused of sexual misconduct often went from job to job without any of the departments they worked for realizing that the problem was on an ongoing one. Due to incomplete communications between departments, and poor screening practices, deputy sheriffs and other police officers who should have been fired were instead simply job hopping, able to keep their badges, and never held accountable for their actions!
Isn’t there a way to track these rogue cops?
There is, but it’s not a reliable system. The National Decertification Index (a list of decertified officers) was created by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) as a way to enhance integrity in law enforcement. The goal was to prevent the rehiring of problem police officers across the country. But experts admit that the list, which is not available to the public, is not well maintained, and thousands of names are missing from the index!
Don’t let a ‘cowboy’ cop falsely accuse you of a crime!
While most officers are hard working, honest, law abiding and professional, every now and then you get a bad one that makes all the rest look rotten. And it’s these ones you need to avoid. If a ‘cowboy cop’ has arrived at your house demanding to search the premises without a warrant, or has accused you of something you didn’t do, call us at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) immediately!
If you’ve been brought in for questioning, or have been charged with a crime, DO NOT WAIT! DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE OR ANYONE ELSE. Contact our highly trained and aggressive criminal defense attorneys today. We can help you. And join us in part 2 for a look at how Michigan solved the problem of job-hopping cops.