This was published in papers here in Delaware, and in the Philadelphia Inquirer, reaching millions of readers. Send it out under your name in your state!
Editorial Submission or Letter to Editor – Reform Police Contracts! – 1/10/16
In many states, police officers are emboldened to break the law, in part, because their union contracts protect even the worst of them from being fired, disciplined or moved into jobs where they could do less harm. States, counties and municipalities should insist on major reforms in many of their police union contracts!
There have been too many instances of excessive force, beatings and shootings, where the officers involved were never effectively disciplined. Indeed, some police departments seem to operate without accountability, and have been the scene of countless abuses and assaults. Some union contracts present serious obstacles to investigating cases of lawlessness with provisions allowing officers to essentially obstruct investigations by refusing to answer questions from police agency investigators.
Union contracts should compel officers to cooperate with criminal investigations or be fired. They must also curb the seniority system that gives officers their choice of jobs and that prevents managers from moving them out of positions for which they are unsuited and in which they can do harm.
Governments at all levels – State, County, and City – have to negotiate contracts that allow them to hold all officers accountable.
Ken Abraham, Deputy Attorney General 1974-1979, President, Citizens for Criminal Justice, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
YOUR name, “Member of Citizens for Criminal Justice”, City, State, phone number.