Actions have consequences.
Inaction, too, has consequences.
We reported today on some truly unsettling video surveillance taken by Miami-Dade Internal Affairs Bureau during an investigation into alleged dereliction of duty by a handful of officers.
It’s depressing to read about officers whose actions — or more to the point in this case, inactions — besmirch the badge.
On the opposite side of that challenge coin, it’s reassuring to read the comments of PoliceOne Members whose disappointment with this dereliction of duty is palpable.
• “Worked with someone just like this. Called him ‘poof’ because every time you needed him, ‘POOF’ he was gone. Wish they could of done the same to him. Cops like this are not only bad press but dangerous to everyone. Good riddance.”
• “To Miami IAB, thank you for guarding the badge. Sounds like a job very well done.”
• “Call dodgers should be fired.”
Ignored the ‘Life Value’
PoliceOne Columnists Jack Hoban and Bruce Gourlie often write about the notion of the “life value” being the core of all core values.
During the investigation in Miami-Dade, one of the officers was filmed drinking coffee while allegedly ignoring an emergency dispatch call about an unconscious 5-month-old baby.
Ditching out on calls for service completely ignores the life value. What might have been the outcome had Fire and EMS not been there in time to help that little infant?
Luckily, the Ethical Protectors in the big red trucks were there, so we don’t have to truly confront that question — this time.
Generally speaking, one won’t find too many fans of a department’s IA division in any given squad room. But cops almost universally agree that their department is better off when the Slugs (a.k.a., Bad Apples, Waldos, Caspers, or whatever you might call them) are unceremoniously dismissed. Those who disagree are probably Slugs themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take joy in the firing of anybody.
But I do support the department’s decision in this case (based on their investigation) to ensure that individuals possessing moral vacancies and ethical relativisms are not allowed to remain in the ranks of the men and women whose high ethical and moral standards are the stuff of heroes.
There are people in every profession on Earth — from airline pilots to school teachers and everything in between — whose lack of integrity should preclude them from continuing in those chosen careers.
They hide in plain sight.
They fly drunk and they molest our kids.
Unlike those other professions, however, where the incompetent and the incapable can languish undetected for decades, it’s been my observation that American law enforcement is pretty damned good at showing the slugs the door.
And good for us, for that.