Have Gun, Will Travel

By Bill Maher

It’s hard to talk about corrupt or trigger-happy or racist cops because, when you do, so many people act like you’re attacking the police in general. Just like when we called on the Catholic Church to do something about its pedophilia problem, the first response was to claim that we were attacking Catholicism as a whole. 

What the Catholics did when a priest was caught molesting an altar boy is they’d give him a stern talking to, make him repent and then ship him off to another parish. Well, it turns out the police do the same thing with their bad cops.

As Vocativ’s James King points out, the recent “Forward Through Ferguson” report describes something that St. Louis area police departments do called “the muni shuffle,” where the bad cops who screw up or have serious disciplinary problems are just transferred to other area precincts. Turns out, that’s cheaper than training new recruits. 

“The report cites an April study conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum that also looked at improving law enforcement in the St. Louis area. That study described the “muni shuffle” as “a two-step process in which 1) a police department separates a problem officer before completing a formal disciplinary proceeding that might cost the officer his or her state-issued police certificate; and then 2) another department, eager to find an already trained and certified officer at a low cost, hires the officer without fully investigating his or her background.’”

Some people just aren’t cut out to be cops. It takes a certain noble temperament that includes a strong sense of duty, service and restraint. The bad cops – the ones with race issues or who are on power trips – pretty much out themselves through their on-the-job behavior. Let’s weed those guys out instead of moving them to a different parish, like a priest who promises his diddling days are over.