Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Policing the Police

There's two noteworthy items regarding the current dust-up between the City, Chief Streicher, and the officers he disciplined for goofing off while on duty. The first is from City Beat's Kevin Osborne. He takes an anti-Streicher approach. The second is an editorial in this morning's Enquirer, which sides with the Chief.

The last few months have been, frankly, terrible for the Cincinnati Police Division. The "highlights":

  • In December, Chief Streicher was taken to the mat by City Council for failing to spend about two million dollars allotted for overtime for extra foot patrols. (Porkopolis)
  • CityBeat revealed that the Chief used about $125,000 in non-budgeted funds to renovate the second floor of police headquarters, where the Chief's office is located. (CityBeat)
  • Officer Patrick Caton was promoted to the rank of sergeant. (Cincinnati Blog)
  • (Ex)-Officer William Simpson pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery, charges that arose from conduct that took place while he was on duty; Judge Cooper told him that he had "violated the trust of everyone in the city" and sentenced him to six months in the Justice Center, pursuant to a plea agreement. (Enquirer)
  • Officers were accused of goofing off in a substation; supervisors were accused of not doing enough to stop it; Chief Streicher issued discipline; and the City substantially reduced the sanctions he imposed.
  • Officer Clayton Neel pleaded guilty (after a trial had started) to tampering with records for allegedly intentionally misplacing paperwork pertaining to an acquaintance's OVI arrest, but then withdrew his plea. (Enquirer)

Cincinnati police officers do a dangerous, difficult job for which they aren't thanked enough. But something has to be done to change the headlines that are being generated by the CPD. The good work the officers do--which comprises, by the way, about 99.8% of their total body of work--is getting drowned out by all this other noise.

What's the answer? A change in CPD leadership (should the City, for example, offer Streicher a buy-out that would be difficult to refuse)? Should we just chalk this up to a city that is all-to-eager to criticize its police? Something in between?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.