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Criminals Fighting Crime? Atlanta Police Grads Have Records

Over one-third of police academy graduates in Atlanta, Georgia have a criminal record. The eye-opening number of newly minted law enforcers have either been arrested or cited for crimes ranging from shoplifting to assault.

Just like the US Army, the Atlanta PD has to make some concession if it wants to meet its recruitment goals. The city has had a tough time filling the ranks for the admirable, but tough job of a police officer.

Considering a recent survey found that the average person breaks the law at least once a day, perhaps it's impossible to find perfectly innocent police officers. Still, disobeying traffic lights or talking on a cell phone while driving won't necessarily get you a criminal record. When police officers have a rap sheet is it a sign that our laws cast too wide a net, or that the city needs to revamp its recruitment efforts?


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Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
That's entirely possible Bastyle, because the departments whos psych tests were that rough was a small town department that had just come off a pretty huge scandal regarding the Chief of Police. But still, the psych evals are NOT fun. LOL
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
If they're still "bad boys" while on the job then that's what Internal Affairs is for. If they've turned their lives around and have been rehabilitated then there shouldn't be a problem.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Mykie LOL well something is wrong with that department my mother, aunt and a couple friends work for he local PD and I was a part of their background checks. One of the people I mentioned is a recovering addict with 20 years clean and still was given the opportunity to work for the department in a civilian role ( civilians go through the same testing other than physical training)
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
bastyle, they do. And the psychological testing is BRUTAL! They ask every detail of your life and make a HUGE deal out of teensy tiny things. For example, one recruit went in for psychological testing. First thing they asked him was "Let me see your key ring", he said "My key ring?" they said "YES YOUR KEY RING YOU PIECE OF SH** GIVE IT TO ME!" So he gave the guy keys, the guy looks at them and goes, "I ought to throw you out of here you little punk! These keys show me a Mama's boy, what the hell do you need all these keys for!" All this over KEYS! They just wanted to see if they could break him down. They give it to them over EVERYTHING. I've got lots of cops in my family and for friends, and NONE of them can say anything nice about the psych evals. LOL The one about the key ring though, MAN, I hope a cop never sees MY key ring! LMAO
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
I don't mind, but like some of you guys have said already it depends on the crime that was previously committed and the time span between the crime and the person becoming an officer. If someone committed a crime at age 18 and wants to be come and officer at age 27 and the crime they committed was fairly harmless ( no physical harm) i.e. shoplifting, DUI without accident/injury etc etc then I see no problem. The thought that we are going to have "perfect" officers is one that should be done away with because most people have skeletons in there closet. Plus if I'm not mistaken at least where I live people who are becoming officers have to pass a lie detector as well as psychological testing.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Whether recruiting people with records is wrong or not depends on the individual person's crime.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
This is kind of a catch 22, because a cop, to be a great cop, has to think like the criminal, be one step ahead of him to be able to catch him. However, that same cop would be able to know how to get around being caught if he were a "dirty" cop too, so it puts the entire department on edge. BUT, that's not to say people can't be rehabilitated. The sheriff's office here REQUIRES a CJ degree AND a business degree to be anything more than a beat cop, and a CJ degree for a beat cop. They DO hire people with minor records, but their feeling is that if they've taken the time and put in the effort for the degrees, it's not likely they'll turn into a dirty cop. Does it happen? Of course it does, but not as often as you might think.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I agree that a violent assault when you are 30 raises a huge flag, but possession of drugs at 18 would not so much. I think they should just look at an officer's character on a case by case basis. I really want to join the FBI, but I did a drug (not just pot) once in high school, and that actually completely prevents me from joining. I wasn't caught, or arrested, but their drug policy is incredibly strict. I was an honors student in high school, I never even had detention, I've never even gotten a speeding ticket, and I'm now a law student. I don't drink, smoke or do any drugs! So I can kind of feel sympathy that people might have done one or two dumb things in their lives, and it shouldn't ruin their careers forever.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i can understand their wish to achieve recruiting goals, and in the grand scheme of things, when you look at how shoplifting rates on the scale of things to be arrested for - i can understand why they would overlook that. i do think that it's kind of a double standard seeing as how any criminal record can prohibit you from getting a job and now they are welcoming some in with open arms. i guess people can reform themselves...
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Isn't that a stereotype though? Bad boys becoming cops? Seems like I have heard this a lot before.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I think it is very easy in some communities for young adults/late teens to get into trouble, and see the light and change their ways later in life. I would think that they would go over the cases individually, and pull out anyone who's crime was disturbing.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I understand maybe shoplifting, but assault? thats a red flag right there!
StPat-Jack StPat-Jack 8 years
There are long held anedoctes that tell us that the mindset of a police officer and a criminal are not all that different. That being said, I have uncles on the APD, they have served the city with honor for over 25 years, however, when they were servicemen, they did illicit drugs. The difference they have made in their communities outweighs, in my opinion, any past discretions from their youth.
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