Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This is why no one likes the cops

I have blogged about the horrible organizational culture that exists within the edmonton city police department a few times already.

As far as I am concerned there is a culture of arrogant entitlement that pervades the whole organization. I can't tell you how many times i have read a newspaper article talking about the shit officers get away with. The problem is the review boards, upper management and the judiciary system all seem to support the often shocking behavior that you would expect to see coming out of a city in Russia.

I have known some people working behind the scenes with the police commission and the department's upper management who are trying to improve the image of the force. I have also had some conversations with people who have worked at prosecuting officers in cases of wrongdoing. The is much discussion behind the scenes about how to improve the general image of the department in the eyes of the public. I don't think this will ever happen until officers start being held accountable for outrageous behavior. Sadly from the discussions I had I don't think this will ever happen before something more serious occurs. There really does seem to be a protective wall around the rank and file members of the force that prevents them at every level from having to face the consequences of their actions.

Today is no different. The journal has a fairly good article reporting that four city police officers have been cleared in the now infamous Overtime surveillance scandal. Full article here.
Again these officers are getting away with dangerous and politically motivated disturbing behavior. Now that's not so say these officers are bad people. I happen to have worked with one of the accused officers on a project a few years ago and not only was he a really nice guy (and damn hot) but I knew he really cared about what he did.

The problem is when the system supports and allows this unacceptable kind of behavior it means the good officers will be able to make ethically poor decisions without consequence. We all see how well that worked for the US financial system.

Unless there is accountability there can be no trust.

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