Thursday, January 26, 2006

Off with his head!

A City of Beaverton police officer recently resigned amid reports that he had stolen over $100 worth of gas from the city. In his blog, Le Petite Morte, Mr. Viddy takes the police department to task for not prosecuting the involved officer. Mr. Viddy believes that police officers shouldn't be above the law. He's right about that, the officer should be prosecuted, but he be misguided in pointing the finger at the police for not prosecuting one of their own. The ultimate decision to prosecute or not prosecute a city employee rests with the district attorney with input from the mayor and/or city attorney. The Chief of Police, in this case, Dave Bishop, probably has little to say about the matter. He's happy to get a crooked cop off the force.

A quick story about Chief Bishop: When I was a young lad in the police academy, Dave Bishop (a lieutenant back then) came to teach us about drugs and drug enforcement. He asked us if any of us had smoked marijuana. "I'm just curious," he said. This was in the early 70s, and I suspect that more than one of us had smoked dope, but no one raised their hand except Officer Al. Officer Al was a kindly sort, but not the smartest bunny in the flock. Bishop gazed down at Officer Al, like a prophet on high and said, "You're a disgrace to the uniform and you'll never work for me." The rookie cops gasped as one and Al blanched. Officer Al's career pretty much dead-ended right there. The moral to this story: Never raise your hand in the police academy--only bad things will happen.

Beaverton PD has had some fiascos in the last few years. Take a look at their problems implementing photo radar and photo red light enforcement. But they are a professional outfit, one of the better departments in the state. For about 20 years after my academy experience with Dave Bishop, I thought he was a hard case and had no desire to work for him. A few years back, I got to know him on a professional basis. I discovered he's a good cop with strong values (maybe not my values), a saavy political mind and a knack for leadership. He spoke at my retirement ceremony and I was proud that he did.

1 comment:

Mr. Viddy said...

I would like to thank you for educating me on the procedures involved when it comes to who makes the decisions regarding city employees who have brokem the law. I will take your word that we have a good man as our chief of police and that he does not look kindly on this sort of behavior from his officers.