Bad cops don't spoil the city's whole barrel: San Antonio

San Antonio Express-News
March 24, 2001

(San Antonio, TX) - San Antonio's many honest police officers are suffering because of the arrests of eight city officers, a Bexar County deputy sheriff and a former reserve deputy constable.

Bad apples splash mud on the good name and reputation of the thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers in this city who do their jobs the best they can day after day.

If the charges against the 10 law enforcement officers prove to be true, their behavior is an outrage.

The alleged criminal activities are particularly heinous for the eight San Antonio Police Department officers because they are accused of using their positions of public trust and authority to perpetrate crimes.

The courts will iron out the charges and determine the fate of the officers, who were indicted by a federal grand jury this week on allegations involving drug trafficking.

But their colleagues must continue daily business with their profession besmirched by the drug arrests.

As San Antonio Police Chief Al Philippus put it, if the charges are true, the suspects "have betrayed the honor of every San Antonio police officer."

And Philippus accurately added that police officers who commit crimes betray the entire community as well as their profession. The betrayal is more pronounced when they use their badges to commit criminal acts.

These may be dark days for the police, but every profession and every walk of life has wayward practitioners.

Good police professionals shouldn't be lumped into a category with the bad.

The February shooting death of policeman John "Rocky" Riojas reminded San Antonians that police officers risk their lives daily in their quest to ensure public safety.

This week's arrests don't change that fact.

Copyright 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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