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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, A 12 PR. 30-MAY 6, 2021 BTR
Members of the NYPD secure the area outside Trump Tower ahead of former U.S. President
Donald Trump’s scheduled visit to New York, in the Manhattan borough of New York City,
New York, U.S., March 7, 2021.?REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
BY BRONX TIMES
Would you go back to the same
used car salesman to purchase a replacement
vehicle for the lemon that
died after three months of use? Or
re-hire the babysitter who got drunk
while looking after your 1 year old?
Or re-let your apartment to tenants
who vandalized it during their fi rst
The answer is likely no. So why is
it that, for decades, law enforcement
agencies across the U.S., including
the NYPD, have continued to hire
“wandering offi cers” with prior histories
“Wandering offi cers” are defi ned
as police offi cers who were fi red or
resigned under threat of termination
only to later fi nd work in law enforcement
elsewhere. Some were fi red for
offenses as severe as pistol-whipping
children, sleeping with sex worker
informants or napping in their squad
cars while shootings occur. To allow
them to rejoin the force smacks of
Over the weekend, New York
Council Speaker Corey Johnson and
State Senator Brian Benjamin — both
of whom are seeking to become the
city’s next comptroller — announced
bills to bar disgraced police offi cers
from joining any other law enforcement
department in the state.
With 15,000 plus law enforcement
agencies spread across our 50 states
hiring thousands of offi cers per year,
offi cer mobility would seem to be the
largest hurdle. Currently, rogue offi -
cers can move across state lines, and
then obtain certifi cation and employment
But how are these bad apples not
being “policed,” one might justifi ably
Together with the fact that no robust
account of “wandering offi cers”
has been conducted in NYC to fi nd
out where the NYPD stands in this
rehiring process, a National Decertifi
cation Index that tracks the interstate
movement of decertifi ed police
offi cers was only put in place in 2015,
is not sophisticatedly developed and
is severely underutilized.
We eagerly await the specifi c details
of Johnson and Benjamin’s plan
to identify and remove unfi t offi cers
from our city and state. Such a plan
before Election Day on June 22 would
If you’re a cop, your credit score
must be 850, as a member of one of the
professions most vital to our safety
as citizens. The federal government
should doubtlessly make every effort
to assist all states in developing a
misconduct and decertifi cation database
— one as iron clad and national
as exists for medical malpractice.
More than ever, we need the “fi nest”
to protect New York. We should
no longer settle for anything less.
Far from the fi nest