In The Blue is a project of the Sentinel Colorado Investigative Reporting Lab. The Lab’s mission is to engage with readers, journalists, decision makers and citizens around impactful accountability reporting that serves all communities of Aurora. The series is an extended look at local police reform and related issues.
AURORA | Aspiring police and firefighters who would have been shut out by Aurora’s public safety agencies for criminal convictions or evidence of dishonesty in the past are being given another chance at joining the city’s civil service.
In December, the Aurora Civil Service Commission quietly approved a package of changes to entry-level hiring rules for police and firefighters, giving the commission and the city’s public safety agencies the ability to hire candidates whose backgrounds include caveats that would have previously gotten their applications thrown out.
The commission’s role in hiring and maintaining a diverse public safety workforce was scrutinized in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office’s 2021 investigation of the Aurora Police Department. The commission was targeted for reform by the subsequent consent decree agreement along with police and firefighters.
News of the changes, which were voted on in a public meeting but not otherwise announced, was met with skepticism by some criminal justice professors and police reform advocates familiar with high-profile incidents of Aurora officers breaking the law.
Others welcomed the new rules, saying a more holistic, “whole-person” approach to vetting candidates makes public safety careers accessible to a greater number of qualified applicants.
“The whole-person approach does not decrease standards but requires the process to consider all the elements of a person’s background,” police spokesperson Matthew Longshore said in an email. “We aim to remove as many barriers as possible to hire the most qualified and diverse candidates.”
For example, failing to complete part of the job application would have disqualified a candidate in the past, even if the failure was a simple, honest oversight.
Recent drug use is also no longer an automatic disqualifier, including use of marijuana within the last year or use of illegal drugs within the last three years.
The rule changes also mean candidates whose backgrounds include “dishonesty and/or integrity issues” can be hired as police officers or firefighters, as can those whose applications are found to contain “falsification, misleading statements (or) omissions.”
Candidates who have been convicted of or received a deferred judgment for DUI in the last three years, or as many as two convictions or deferred judgments for DUI in the last seven years, may also apply.
“This doesn’t mean somebody with a DUI will get hired. It just means that they won’t automatically get disqualified because they have it,” said Civil Service Commission Chairperson Desmond McNeal. “We have the freedom to do that now if we conclude that’s appropriate.”
Rules on reckless driving for police candidates were also relaxed, so that candidates who violated the law once in the last three years or no more than twice in the past seven years can be considered.
Other changes include accepting candidates if they have multiple convictions on other misdemeanor charges or petty offenses that occurred in the last five years, as long as those convictions wouldn’t prohibit the person from carrying a firearm and aren’t included in the state’s list of disqualifying crimes.
Felony convictions remain an absolute disqualifier for applicants.
Police and commissioners say the changes are designed to open the job up to more people at a time when Aurora and other police departments are struggling to hire new officers.
“We’re having trouble finding people who want to be professional police officers. And this is happening everywhere,” said Matt Snider, who has served on the Civil Service Commission since 2022.
“This gives us flexibility to allow somebody in who may have made a mistake in their early life and yet they still want to serve the city. It gives us the flexibility to evaluate the rest of their application on the merits, rather than just disqualify them outright.”
Criminal justice professors and reform advocates supported at least some of the changes, agreeing with commissioners and police officials that past drug use and misdemeanors wouldn’t necessarily reflect on a candidate’s fitness for police work.
“I think we should be attracting people from all walks of life as much as possible,” said Qusair Mohamedbhai, an attorney for the family of Elijah McClain, who died in the hospital after he was violently detained by police in 2019.
“Whenever we use the criminal justice system as an indicator for suitability for employment, it always disproportionately impacts communities of color. And right now, they are a police department that certainly needs greater recruitment and the ability to recruit from communities of color.”
However, Mohamedbhai and other police reform advocates questioned whether the police department and Civil Service Commission were equipped to handle the responsibility of deciding whether a candidate was fit to become a police officer, especially in situations involving questions about a candidate’s integrity.
Aurora’s decision to offer more people the opportunity to join its public safety agencies comes as the number of sworn police officers has dwindled, including senior officers who the department relies on to mentor rookie cops.
The city saw a net loss of 27 sworn officers in 2022, ending the year with only 690 officers out of 744 officers budgeted, according to information shared with a council committee. The total of 690 included officers in the academy and in training.
The number of officers in training and in the academy declined throughout 2022, from 20 officers in the academy and 35 in training to just four in the academy and 10 in training by the end of the year.
At a council meeting in November, former interim police chief Dan Oates blamed the Civil Service Commission for the shortage of new police officers.
“If the best, most desirable police officer candidate applied to become an Aurora police officer today, we would not hire that candidate for our February academy,” Oates told the council, adding that, “It’s a process problem with how the Civil Service Commission conducts business.”
Oates argued for a more limiting interpretation of the commission’s role in police hiring as it is described by the City Charter that would only allow it to administer entrance exams and validate a candidate’s age, educational background, driver’s license and employment eligibility.
He added that the department was facing “a near-existential challenge with regard to staffing,” which he called the department’s “No. 1 challenge.”
Historically, the commission has been extensively involved in the process of hiring entry-level police officers, directing background investigations, reviewing applications and giving the final nod to new hires.
While Oates blamed the commission for the monthslong wait between when candidates submit applications and when they enter the academy, McNeal told The Sentinel that Aurora’s vetting process is similar to that of other local agencies. McNeal also said potential applicants are turned off by the negative publicity surrounding the department.
“One of the problems with Aurora is we’re one of the agencies that keeps making the news,” McNeal said.
Oates said in November that it takes about four and a half months to hire new officers. Matt Cain, a staff liaison to the commission, said in an email Monday that the process typically takes two to three months.
The court-ordered consent decree reform agreement between Aurora and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office directs the city to hand more of the hiring process over to its human resources staff, Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue from the Civil Service Commission.
Jeff Schlanger, founder of the risk management firm tasked with overseeing Aurora’s implementation of its consent decree, told the council in December that the commission would ultimately play a “minority” role in a redesigned hiring process.
He said that up to two commission members will participate in the review of candidates’ applications and backgrounds as well as interviewing and hiring, joined by three representatives from the Aurora Police Department in the case of cops, or three representatives from Aurora Fire Rescue in the case of firefighters.
Schlanger later wrote that a member of the public trained to serve as a “citizen assessor” would also cast a vote, and a representative of the city’s human resources department would be available to break a tie. A citizen assessor serves currently on an evaluation panel for entry-level candidates and some promotions.
Schlanger wrote that citizen assessors are ultimately selected by the Civil Service Commission and are recruited from community groups, including the police department’s Citizen Police Academy alumni association. He said commissioners typically look for people with past experience interviewing, hiring and supervising.
The commission will also be able to rule on appeals from officers who did not make it through the hiring process. The consent decree requires that Aurora’s hiring and discipline processes be amended by mid-May for the city to be in compliance with the agreement.
When asked about the recent changes to hiring rules, Schlanger said his firm recommended the city reconsider its policies on disqualifying for marijuana use, misdemeanors and traffic infractions along with items “that in practice do not indicate a concerning pattern of behavior and do not negatively impact the essential skills and strengths an applicant brings to the department.”
“Of course, there are potential issues that can arise with the whole-person approach,” Schlanger wrote in an email. “This includes the disparate application of the approach by different decision makers. We have built in what we believe to be guardrails against such treatment.”
Those guardrails include incorporating HR oversight over the interview process and considering community input, such as through the citizen assessor position.
Schlanger’s firm presented its recommendations in a November report that described the “whole-person approach” now being pursued by Aurora as deemphasizing automatic disqualifiers in favor of a holistic evaluation of candidates’ backgrounds and strengths.
Some reform advocates say the practice of barring convicted criminals from becoming police officers impacts candidates of color disproportionately.
In 2018, one out of every three sentenced U.S. prisoners was Black despite Black Americans making up just 12% of the total adult population, according to the Pew Research Center. Nearly one in every four prisoners was Hispanic, while Hispanics made up 16% of the adult population.
Andrea Borrego, chairperson of Metropolitan State University Denver’s Criminal Justice and Criminology Department, said more training, an effective system of discipline, psychological evaluations and screening for extremism during background checks are better at cracking down on misconduct for departments trying to make their hiring process more inclusive.
“Just because someone has something on their record doesn’t mean they’re devoid of morals and ethics,” she said. “And also, just because we have certain police officers now who don’t have something on the record doesn’t mean they don’t engage in those criminal behaviors.”
Borrego also said programs aimed at attracting a more diverse pool of candidates are only part of building a culture of inclusivity within a police department.
Included in the consent decree is a commitment by Aurora to diversifying its public safety workforce. In a report released last month, Schlanger’s firm wrote that Aurora had hired it to help with this project as well, and that police had launched a new nationwide recruiting campaign with messaging focusing on Aurora’s status as a diverse community.
Earlier this month, the city announced that it would strive to recruit more female officers, with a goal of having all academy classes contain 30% women by the year 2030.
Officials pledged to hold informational academies specifically for women, engage in targeted recruitment and offer more support during the recruitment and application processes, among other strategies, to meet their goal.
Aurora’s sworn police force is around 89.1% male and 76.4% white, according to a demographic report prepared in September 2022. Commissioner Barb Cleland later said that 80% of the students slated to take part in the next police academy class are minorities.
Dispute over less-is-more philosophy
The fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers earlier this year rekindled criticisms that looser hiring standards could result in more misconduct, especially at a time when police departments are desperate for new officers.
The Memphis Police Department had lowered its standards prior to the beating, and two of the cops charged with Nichols’ murder had at least one prior arrest, according to the Associated Press.
Fritz Umbach, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, cited one study of career-ending misconduct among New York City Police Department officers which concluded that officers with past arrests, traffic violations and employment troubles were more likely than others to be fired for misconduct.
The U.S. Department of Justice-funded study found that the NYPD had become “better behaved” as it diversified its ranks and that better-educated officers were likely to perform better. Professors and reform advocates also attested to a link between college education and officer performance.
Currently, Aurora’s police department only requires candidates to earn a high school diploma or GED certification before becoming a cop. Police spokesman Joe Moylan said police officers and other City of Aurora employees are eligible to receive up to $2,000 per year in tuition assistance as a forgivable loan.
The study examined the backgrounds of all 1,543 officers who were fired or forced to resign or retire from NYPD as a result of misconduct between 1975 and 1996, pulling from confidential personnel files and comparing the former officers with a random sample of their police academy peers who served “honorably.”
“We know there is a statistically-observable tendency toward misconduct as you lower standards,” Umbach said. “There are certainly disqualifiers that can be on the books that make little sense. … Particularly when we have so many jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana, is that a meaningful reason to disqualify someone? Probably not. But a DUI? Absolutely.”
APD’s reconsideration of the DUI rules for applicants comes after a 2019 incident in which officer Nate Meier passed out drunk behind the wheel of his police vehicle but escaped DUI charges after police failed to formally investigate. Meier has since climbed the ranks of the department, earning a promotion last month to the rank of agent.
“In view of that circumstance, I mean, it sounds almost comical for this (rule) to change,” Snider said. “But that was somebody who was on the job versus somebody who is trying to have an entry level application considered.”
Snider endorsed the changes to the department’s hiring rules, which he said would give the commission the ability to overlook isolated and uncharacteristic examples of criminal behavior.
He and McNeal said the rule changes were designed and presented jointly by APD and Schlanger’s firm as part of the “whole-person” vision for the redesigned hiring process.
“What we’re trying to do is give everybody a fair shake,” Snider said. He specifically mentioned wanting to accommodate adults who may have acted dishonestly or committed crimes as teenagers but have since reformed their lives.
“We’re obviously not going to hire anybody with an alcohol problem,” he said. “If a DUI incident is a minor one where nobody was affected except for the applicant, and in terms of time it was far in the past, it gives the commission more flexibility to give some people some grace for a dumb decision.”
Last year, former interim police chief Dan Oates also declined to fire a rookie cop facing an open criminal case in Arkansas for a drunken family dispute after that information became public.
Some reform advocates cast doubt on the city’s judgment. Lindsay Minter, a member of the now-defunct Community Police Task Force, said she was uncomfortable with the Civil Service Commission’s controversial decision in December to reinstate the police officer who threatened to unleash a dog on Elijah McClain.
She said she supported loosening restrictions on past marijuana use and traffic citations but that she was uncomfortable with police welcoming candidates whose background checks revealed integrity problems or DUIs.
“If you already have a dishonesty and integrity issue, then you’re not going to be able to hold anybody else accountable or yourself accountable,” she said. “And if we have the same people making the same decisions in hiring, it really doesn’t matter what the qualifications are. We’re still gonna get the same type of folks.”
Mohamedbhai, the attorney for McClain’s family, said he generally approved of the rule changes, pointing out that even some crimes related to dishonesty, like writing a bad check, could be considered crimes of poverty.
But like Minter, he said he believed it was ultimately up to the commission and Aurora’s public safety agencies to weed out unsuitable candidates.
“If you’ve got the wrong people on the commission, these rules will be abused, you know?,” he said. “So it’s setting them up for something that could work. But it’s also setting them up for something that may get worse.”
In The Blue series is produced by Sentinel staff journalists Max Levy, Philip Poston, Carina Julig and Kara Mason with investigative journalists in residence Brian Howey and Trey Bundy.
PAST STORIES IN THE SERIES:
IN THE BLUE: Aurora commission says rehiring controversial canine officer justified
If this is one big ploy to encourage people to leave Colorado’s big cities, it sure is working.
I get that APD is desperate to recruit officers in an environment of war on the police, but name one instance where the lowering of quality standards resulted in a higher quality outcome.
I am impressed that the Sentinel can put out an article that is balanced and covers both sides of an issue. I think that looking hard at a person’s past and whether they have shown that they have corrected themselves is a positive since many systems are very rigid and weed out good people. However, in general, loosening of the qualifications will lead to bad results. I realize that it is all about race now. Ironic that the people who want higher standards for police conduct don’t seem to care about the standards of some of the people we hire. If you read the comments by the former Memphis recruiters, you will understand.The politicians are able to constantly change the rules and never are held accountable for the long term results.
It is also ironic that the legislature that destroyed law enforcement with their “police reform bill” now is concerned about crime and the fact that we can’t recruit officers. Civilian review is fine. But the current trend of letting the media and activist citizens push unjustified changes and prosecutions of officers is not. Any real examination of the facts and the police reform bill would disclose major underlying problems created by the “progressives”.
This isn’t even lowering standards. It’s lifting barriers for people who actually live in these communities.
It’s ridiculous to think officers who don’t live in the communities they police would even care about it’s constituents.
If you were able to spend even a day in the shoes of cops that work in underprivileged communities, you might be surprised to see more than a few who genuinely care about the people they work around. I know, hard to believe, especially if one listens to the folks who make a buck off the misery of others. But it’s true. It’s not hard to understand: one of the most-often heard reasons that people want to be police officers is the chance to “help the community.” Where else is help more needed?
Anyway, this idea that standards need to be lowered, and that is no different than your phrase, “lifting barriers,” is a huge insult to folks from the community who live a life of integrity within the law. Huge. A bigger issue is the pressure in some neighborhoods for young men and women to
-not- become police officers because they would somehow be “traitors.” That’s reprehensible. That needs to stop. Those folks need to be encouraged, not discouraged.
Sorry, not sorry. I don’t think your argument holds water.
Dome of the lessening of standards might be alright (loosening restrictions on past marijuana use (which is now legal in a lot of states including Colorado and prob will become federally legal) and traffic citations. But welcoming candidates whose background checks revealed integrity problems or DUIs or actual false and misleading statements on their applications. We already let anyone into politics and look how incompetent, corrupt, unable to learn and critically think, or show empathy, those people are. We already have huge problems in the APD with the lack of education and broad experience, good training, ability to communicate (that’s so much) and de-escalate, use good judgment and meet high standard recruitment, and now we want to lower it. How is that responsive to the consent decree governing the APD about how they need to raise recruitment standards, along with training and accountability. Anyone in favor of this policy as it’s written today needs to go.
I think a very, very close look at how they would go about vetting any applicant with even really minor offenses, even those that took place when the applicant was a juvenile, is necessary before any change to standards could be adopted. It’s unfortunate that there is the appearance of “looking to meet a diversity quota” at the expense of maintaining a group of the most trustworthy police officers that can be assembled.
Is it April fools day already? What a joke. Has anyone else seen the correlation of headlines created by Aurora’s finest and the lowering of the hiring standards? Not to mention, the bulk of this would cost you a POST certification.
It is very rich and quite amusing to have the ultimate Civil Service Commission “hater”, Chief “I want the limelight” Oates, make any comments about the Civil Service Commission. He has always been a “cry baby”, if he didn’t get his way.
Bringing Oates back certainly lowered the bar for standards for a Chief of Police for Aurora for temporary or permanent Chiefs of Police for Aurora.
Gee, I wonder why he is no longer the Miami Beach Police Chief? Was he asked to leave? Did he leave on
his own terms? Just a few questions, that might have been asked before “hiring” him back, especially if it was for $18,000 a month.
All the naysayers as usual.
What would you suggest to hire more officers?
Believe in second chances?
It’s not like they won’t still be scrutinized all during their career.
I say give it a try.
They conveniently ignore the fact that their police reform bill drove thousands of officers out of the job and still is driving officers out of the job. The public has no idea how bad the new law is. Leslie Herrod continues to trumpet her “landmark police reform bill” and none of them will talk about its many flaws. I love how the politicians can ignore their mistakes and make new rules all of the time. There does not have to be any logic behind it. I strongly suggest that they repeal their police reform bill. If not, we will have to wait many years and many deaths and victims before someone suddenly comes up with the brilliant idea that we need to change it. Again, I challenge any politician or chief to debate the police reform bill in front of the public. The real problem in police work is that none of the “leaders” have the integrity to stand up and talk about the police reform bill.
This is a load of bull…lets do the same for hiring surgeons
If only we did.
I love being right.
I think Mr. Levy is a good print journalist and wrote a quality piece for the Sentinel. Having said that, when he used the term “lowering’ it tells me what I think his mindset is. So many other terms could have been used…..revised, modified, updated, broadened, etc. When I hear the word “lowered” it has a negative connotation. I think that was his intent and by captioning the article the way he did he is showing displeasure, which of course is his prerogative as a journalist.
I served on the CSC for three years from February 2019 to February 2022. I did not apply for reappointment because I saw the train coming off the track with consent decree compliance, Intergra and the City of Aurora politicos with Zvonek in the lead will probably be succesful in getting the State Attorney General to back off and say there has been substantial compliance with the consent decree. But when Integra walks away with millions of dollars and an objective study of impact shows recruitment is still a major problem, diversity goals have not been achieved, retention is still problematic and there is still distrust of APD by many in the community what has really been accomplishedin terms of what is important to the residents of Aurora for a revitalized police force. I may be a Debbie Downer on this but I don’t think so.
I served during the 3 years whcih looking back was the hard ass era. We were tough Commissioners and suitability was a critical matter for us. We could afford to be because APD had substantial numbers of quality candidates for its academy. If you want a graphic comparison of how things have deteriorated just look at that basically empty training room with only 5 trainees. That classroom used to be filled with quality people going through a rigorous 26 week training program staffed by excellent instructors.
I wish the 3 council members who head up the Public Safety Committee had the political courage to survey APD officers in all of the ranks. Two basic questions should be asked…1) In the current environment would you recommend a law enforcement career to a family member or close friend? 2) If the answer is yes would you recommend APD as the organization to spend a 25 to 30 year career? The responses might be illuminating and give the politicans driving the train some serious reflection as to what the state of the APD is. If you will notice there is practially no emphasis or concern being expressedabout how the current force of officers perceives what is going on and how things might be improved. Focus on the patrol officers and the sergeants….you political types will learn a lot.
The recruitment situation is dire but I think there are things APD has going for it. First, the Academy is world class. Second, APD is staffed with quality people who would be good mentors. Third, if you don’t want to bored that will never be a problem. You will get involved in many law enforcement calls for service that will be challenging and often rewarding as your serve the community. Fourth, the retention issue in all of the ranks may provide for promotional opportunities other police departments cannot offer ambitious patrol officers.
If there was a contest for an APD recruitment motto my submission would be “Help us rebuild.”
Jim, I don’t want to downplay your involvement with the CSC but you are sadly mistaken. The Aurora Police academy USED to be world class, it is not anymore. The academy has been bitten by the diversity bug where 3-4 year cops are now teaching about all of their learned experience from their patrol life. There are a few still out there but I bet if you averaged their time actually on patrol, it may touch 10 years but it’s only that high because there are a couple well seasoned instructors skewing the average. The reason we keep seeing Aurora in the headlines is because of lowered standards coupled with being taught in your, “world class” academy, by instructors who have no business teaching. Take away alcoholic Nate Meier and what’s the average tenure of these troubled Officers?
The consent decree SHOULD be lifted since it was initiated, as we now know, under false pretenses. Are there bad Officers? Probably. Every profession has them but the problem is obviously not “systemic”. If Aurora truly wants to bolster recruitment, fight the good fight in actually defending its Officers and stop ceding power to the vocal minority who are holding the bullhorns. Why do you think Weiser went after Aurora instead of Denver or Polis’ backyard of Boulder, both of which have higher “racist” and “brutality” patterns of practice? Answer: The low hanging fruit of Chief Wilson, who they knew would not push back during their political hit job.
Until PD leadership (chief’s office) switches gears from self-preservation to shielding Officers from unjust prosecutions, they will continue to hemorrhage good Officers and will be forced to hire ones that are too dumb to see the writing on the wall.
Who would you want showing up to your house when you need them most?
Justin, I appreciate your reply and you clearly are commenting as a knowledgeable and concerned person. I spent a lot of time while on the Commission at CAPSTC getting to become more familiar with the APD Academy curriculum and environment as well as monitoring fire fighter practicals on the tarmac. I am going to take you for your word that what I experienced as positive and impressive is no longer the case. Maybe all that is going on is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. One of my best times was sitting in on the promotion panels for sergeant, police agent and lieutenant. The candidates were of high quality…well spoken, quick on their feet, and committed to their professsion. Based on your concerns I wonder how many have stuck around in this difficult environment. I had real issues with the biases of Weiser’s representatives when we had zoom calls so I know where you are coming from. If you are a member or former APD member what is going on has to be hard to deal with.
Your Titanic reference is on point. The smoke and mirrors has been going on for as long as I can recall so you are definitely only getting what they wanted you to see. My understanding is that those that have not left, can’t. It is not because they want to stick it out, they want to leave but feel trapped because of either financial or family reasons. Most have done this their entire lives and they believe it is too late to change ships.
I am worried. I am an Aurora resident and feel that if leadership doesn’t turn over and the exodus is not stopped in the next few months, it will take years to recover from.
Broadened standards (I don’t yet want to characterize them as lowered standards) might increase recruitment. It also might increase a failure rate for adequate performance, and if it did what would be the remedies? Would the officers hired under these new standards have a longer probationayry period? that seems doubtful given the city charter. Would discipline, including dismissal of them if they don’t perform to acceptable standards be swift in front of civil service? Not if the past is any predictor of the future. Would the union rally around them and defend their jobs from discipline or dismissaltaking a defend the membership position over an advance professionalism position? That seems likely.
There will be consequences to this movement. The increased recruitment of underrepresented communities may be desirable. I just hope the collateral consequences will be well considered.
Also, I am not certain I would take the advice on hiring parameters from attorneys who make their living suing the department and challenging the credibility and professionalism and qualification of officers when they are on the testimonial stand in court. Attorneys advocating broader and more inclusive standards today will be those same attorneys questioning those qualification on behalf of their clients.
Welcome to the “whole person approach” in recruitment. What a lovely euphemism used to, shall we say “overlook”, very very minor errors in discretion. And of course theses past discretions will never ever affect the performance and conduct of potential candidates.
On a more serious note. Certainly we have all made mistakes and probably there are things we’ve done in our past that were stupid and dumb and may have caused harm, that hopefully we have learned, matured, and moved on from.
It is the trend that counts. Have you really learned? Can you point to productive things you’ve done? If the trend demonstrates that kind of behavior, then I would say you probably would have a good APD candidate. I’m not one for being punitive for every mistake, unless of course it is a felony. And if it was a felony pleaded down to a misdemeanor, that would warrant further serious scrutiny. While all things must be considered, there still needs to be guard rails.
Lower the standards for better departments? Would you like it if you saw the headline “lower our US government standards for better leadership” or “lower vehicle standards for a better vehicle”? Must be an AI-written article.
Zvonek recently did a TV interview that I think took a rather naive shot at the Commission. He compared the restrictive hiring practices of the CSC to Harvard having a more liberal admissions policy. I understand the point he was trying to make but to the best of my knowledge Harvard is not issuing Glocks to its incoming freshman class with the authority to use deadly force.
Hiring is only a part of the problem with APD. Training and finding suitable candidates for mentors are also important. As a manager, I had to make a tough decision on promoting a mentor when he revealed that his style of mentoring was more authoritarian than working with newbies.
I wound up elevating a person with less experience than my original choice. The person I promoted turned out to be an excellent choice who used common sense solutions to training. I would hope that this part of the promotion process is elevated beyond years of experience to include complaints of excessive violence brought by the public. I believe that the approach to too many minor infractions is not commensurate with the violation. Nobody should die for minor infractions. The whole de-escalation process needs to be elevated in training!
Wow. Just wow.
Personal integrity is the most important attribute a police officer possesses. If we start hiring people with a demonstrated lack of integrity as cops, we can expect that situations like the McClain case will only increase.
What about those times when no one is looking? When an officer is called to a home that’s found open, and he has to search the interior? Will that “search” be to find a possible burglar, or for valuables that fit in his pockets?
Or an officer that responds to an accident and “volunteers” to take a victim’s purse to her at the hospital? Is he doing it because it’s the right thing to do or to go through it, looking for cash or other valuables?
A police officer’s integrity protects us all. Knowing we’ve hired the best we can ensures that protection doesn’t include those who demonstrate they cannot be trusted.
Dumbest thing I have seen in a long time. If you don’t hold law enforcement to a higher standard than how do you expect them to act accordingly. Lower expectations lead to lower results. If APD did not have such a poor reputation in the first place perhaps more qualified candidates would apply.
Hiring those who have shown “evidence of dishonesty”?? WOW…Have you heard of “Giglio?” Anyone with a prior issue with honesty or integrity will taint EVERY case they are involved in. Receiving a “Giglio” letter is a “death sentence” for a law enforcement officer…so why hire someone that you have to lower the standards for? Unbelievable.
After spending over 30 years in law enforcement and now being retired…all I can say is that if this is what LE is coming to, I’m glad I’m retired. So much for integrity any more.
This is going to be an absolute s*** show. Good luck.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to increase the pay for police officers and attract better quality applicants than to hire the dregs that cost the city millions in lawsuits?
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