One cop's search for justice goes online
Randy Sutton, PoliceOne Contributor and author of three books about "policing with honor," takes on corruption with a new website and a steadfast determination
Greed and lust for power are not new human traits, they have been plaguing societies since the earliest civilizations were conceived. They are the components that fuels mans’ weakness and lead to the dark manifestations of corruption and abuse of power. Even those whose values are healthy and who have consistently displayed positive morality can be swayed by their temptations and it is a constant internal battle which must be waged if we are to overcome our thirst for the pleasures and the rewards they promote.
Corruption is a cancer that can erode and destroy organizations, governments, and even entire civilizations. It affects each one of us in myriad ways. We only need to examine the scandalous actions of corporate executives of Enron and Merrill Lynch to see how hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans had their financial security ripped away.
Headlines abound of politicians at every level of local, state, and federal government enriching themselves monetarily or furthering their greed for power by selling their influence to the highest bidder while discarding their promises to the public they serve. Perhaps most embarrassing to me personally are the constant headlines in newspapers and television reports of police officers and law enforcement leaders who have given into the temptations of money, sex or power while they failed to live up to their oath “To Serve and Protect.”
I’m Randy Sutton and I have fought for justice for more than three decades as a street cop, investigator and police leader for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and in the Princeton, New Jersey Police Department. During my years behind a badge I’ve given life and taken it. I have witnessed courage and cowardice, cruelty and incredible compassion and, as the years have passed, felt both disillusionment in my fellow man and pride in the many acts of benevolence and courage I have witnessed.
I am a very fortunate man. I have survived several officer-involved shootings, had the opportunity to touch thousands of lives with my books and articles, spoken to thousands of law enforcement officers around the country on the subject of “policing with honor,” and worked alongside of other officers whose courage and integrity will inspire me forever. But I feel that I have not yet done enough.
Recently, I have been contacted by several police officers who discovered corruption and misconduct at the very top levels of their organization, and knowing their duty they took these suspicions and knowledge to various government and law enforcement leaders believing they would be protected. They were wrong.
Not only were these allegations not competently investigated, but the very police leaders involved in the misconduct were given the names of the officers who came forward. What happened to these officers was predictable and unacceptable - their careers were destroyed and their personal lives damaged forever.
When I stood before these men and listened to their horrors, I made a promise to them and myself that I would report and expose those responsible and work as an advocate for others whose lives and careers are threatened by greed, power and corruption. I decided to create a forum where honest men and women could expose those in positions of power who have abandoned their public trust to further their own interests. Where honesty, integrity, and the values of courage would be celebrated.
I’ve created a website, SearchforJustice.us, to provide citizens, government employees and police officers the forum to report corruption and criminal misconduct — be it governmental or corporate. We will utilize sound investigative techniques to uncover and impartially investigate the allegations and, if verified, to expose the corruption or misconduct journalistically and publicly. We will also provide evidence to law enforcement entities who have legal authority and jurisdiction.
The first investigation that “Search for Justice” will be centered around the police force in New Carrollton, Maryland, where the careers of several law enforcement officials were destroyed as they sought to expose the police administration’s corruption and misconduct.
The website will also be devoted to justice and those who have the courage to pursue it.
Together, we can Search for Justice with a unity of purpose that brings honest people together to stand up for the values that made the United States of America the symbol of strength and compassion that has for centuries drawn people to its shores in search of freedom, of opportunity and of justice.