Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that law enforcement officers are humans too. We shouldn’t forget that when things that can be categorized as human error come up in court. Granted, officers are in a position of authority that makes it more important for them to be vigilant in their work. They have to make sure that the possibility of human error is reduced as much as possible.
But, what about risky behavior? I’m not talking about risking their lives to save others “risky” behavior. What I am referring to is the endangering others kind of “risky” behavior.
According to an article by Bay Area News Group, “reporters from the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism obtained a list of criminal convictions from the past decade of nearly 12,000 current or former law enforcement officers and people who applied to be in law enforcement.”
Close to half of the convictions were for DUI or related cases. In a way, this statistic both distresses and relieves me. It distresses me in that most of the time, officers were getting caught for being under the influence – when they spend a significant amount of time trying to prevent civilians from driving drunk. The article doesn’t specify if these incidents occurred during duty hours or off-duty. However, it also is a relief to know that most policemen were not caught doing anything more criminal than your run-of-the-mill DUI. Those were dangerous and reckless decisions, but fortunately did not result in great danger.
During the investigation, other questionable behavior and conduct by those surrounding the officers have come to attention. Reports of officers keeping their jobs after causing a crash with injury or fleeing the scene of the crime doesn’t seem right. It is not acceptable.
As much as I believe in second changes, aren’t law enforcement officers supposed to be held to a higher standard of conduct?