When Cops Hire Criminals

Mon, October 22nd, 2012 - 11:07 am - By Gordon Basichis

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There has long been a claim that the distinction between cop and criminal can be a fine line, indeed.  You can buy into the theory, or you can leave it alone.   But when cops hire those with criminal records, then that fine line becomes obfuscated and the situation can prove confusing.   Such is the case when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department hired a man who admitted to drug use, liaisons with prostitutes, and who was on probation for assaulting someone.

A background check had been conducted and all of the above had been reported.   Nevertheless, the man was hired.   He has connections, or so it would appear.

From time to time I have written about law enforcement agencies and public services agencies around the country hiring people with criminal records.  Maybe it’s a hallowed tradition, or an unspoken belief that convicted criminals make better cops and public officials because they can better understand other felons.   Just joking.  But not really.  One such article I wrote was entitled, Another Police Department May Have Hired Despite Records on Criminal Background Checks.

It is especially disconcerting when public service agencies and law enforcement bureaus hire sex offenders.  Especially sex offenders who prefer children to adults.   One has to wonder.

Some agencies have not ordered background checks.  With others, they have ordered perfunctory background checks.  And still the more common reason these people get hired is that the responsible agency may order background checks, but  no one bothers to read them.

According to the article….”Pierce Murphy, ombudsman for the Boise police and a national advocate for police oversight, said hiring someone with a background such as Bissman’s is a potential public safety threat. Even someone hired into a relatively low-level law enforcement position, he noted, would have access to sensitive locations and information.”

In fairness, it has been reported that since he was hired the employee in question has done a good job.  So go figure.

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