When police become criminals action must be taken

Ashley Wolfe

Editor-in-Chief

If those with the job of protecting citizens instead commit acts that harm them, would it be right to allow them to keep their job?

Would Americans keep the president in office if he/she allowed a foreign country to destroy our democracy?

In the Chicago police force, officers who admit their wrongdoings are able to receive a lesser punishment in place of being fired. According to a Jan. 19th article in the Chicago Sun-Times, this process– known as mediation– is currently under review by officials to determine if police officers who commit certain crimes should not be allowed to take part in it.

For example, last year two Chicago officers admitted to falsifying arrests. One officer received a 60 day suspension and the other 120 days.

Within four months, both were back on the job.

After an event like that, I’m not sure I would be comfortable having these two officers on the police force. What will stop them from committing such acts again? As protectors of our cities, police officers are looked to be role models and help bring justice for those who commit crimes. When they begin to commit crimes themselves, it truly brings to light the fact that they, too, are human beings like the rest of society.

For this reason, I support the investigation of the mediation process wholeheartedly. It is understandable that police officers make mistakes just like everyone else and should be shown the same level of consideration and mercy, but there are some offenses that require harsher consequences.

Falsifying arrests makes the top of the list.

If officers commit crimes that pose a threat to those whom they swore to protect, mediation is not an adequate consequence. With their job comes a higher level of expectation and, therefore, it should be accompanied by stricter consequences for those who fail to conduct themselves appropriately. I believe this will further prevent other officers from committing similar actions and improve the public’s view and opinion of the police force.

In no way do I intend to send the message that all police officers who commit crimes should be immediately and severely punished. I mean only to say that those who threaten the freedom and security of others should be dealt with accordingly. Petty crimes such as parking in handicapped spaces unnecessarily are not grounds for termination or three-month suspension. It is those like falsifying arrests and firing your weapon without just cause that require more than just a suspension to remedy.

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