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john65pennington's avatar

Off-duty police officer shoplifts a pair of sunglasses. Your opinion?

Asked by john65pennington (29202points) April 28th, 2011

For three years, I sat on the Disciplinary Board of my police department. It was an honor to be asked and to serve. After an internal police investigation of suspected bad conduct, many officers were faced with the Disciplinary Board and yours truly. One case has always stood out in my mind. An off-duty officer walked into a store, cutoff the price tag, and walked out the front door, without paying for a pair of sunglasses. After hearing the details of this case, I could not believe that an officer would resort to a petty crime and placed his job and pension in danger. We also learned that this same officer had gone into a grocery store, opened a jar of mayonaise, stuck his finger inside just to see if he liked the taste of it. This case had not come before the Disciplinary Board, so we tied the two cases together. I knew this officer quite well and his actions totally surprised me. Since I was the only police officer on the board, the other members relied heavily on my decisions. My suggestion to the board was to terminate this man for “conduct unbecoming a police officer”. The entire board agreed with my decision and he was terminated.
Question: was just terminating this officer enough? Should he have been arrested?

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13 Answers

YoBob's avatar

I think the action was appropriate. The crimes, while definitely conduct unbecoming a police officer, were petty in nature. I believe that loss of a job is sufficient given the details you have shared.

ucme's avatar

Sounds like a shady character to these ears.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I agree with the outcome.

erichw1504's avatar

I think termination was enough.

Also, he should never be allowed to wear sunglasses again or put mayonaise on his sandwiches.

Cruiser's avatar

I would almost say he should have been arrested first and then disciplined. Since he was now subjected to the board of review and terminated…a subsequent arrest would almost be double jeopardy. I think enough “justice” has been applied at this point in time.

josie's avatar

Handled just about right in my opinion.

wilma's avatar

I agree.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes, he should have been arrested for the theft. That was an offense against everyone. The termination is a separate issue in that he’s not suitable to be enforcing the law.

shego's avatar

He should have been arrested. If I did that, not only would I have been detained, but I would get a ticket, and a court date. Then I would have to pay a out the ridiculously expensive restitution.
Just losing the job isn’t good enough.
How are you going to prove to others that stealing is wrong when that person gets a slap on the wrist?

ddude1116's avatar

I dig the irony.

yankeetooter's avatar

Throw the book at him…

knitfroggy's avatar

I don’t think he should have been arrested. At the store I work at people that steal small amounts are generally only ticketed by the police and sometimes not even that. I do think you did the right thing in terminating him though.

downtide's avatar

I agree I think terminating his job was enough.

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