Daily Bread for 8.21.21: Hundreds of Wisconsin Police Officers Back on the Job after Being Fired or Forced Out

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be variably cloudy with scattered thunderstorms and a high of 81. Sunrise is 6:08 AM and sunset 7:46 PM, for 13h 37m 26s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1911, the Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincenzo Peruggia, a Louvre employee.

Peter Cameron writes Nearly 200 Wisconsin police officers back on the job after being fired or forced out:

One officer was accused by a supervisor of snoozing in his squad car while on duty. Another had multiple drunken run-ins with police, including after bar fights. A third repeatedly sent lewd photos to a female officer.

All of them were fired or forced out. And all of them are back working in law enforcement in Wisconsin.

Nearly 200 law enforcement officers currently employed in the state were fired from previous jobs in law enforcement, resigned before completion of an internal investigation or in lieu of termination, according to data from the Wisconsin Department of Justice obtained through an open records request.


A huge study in The Yale Law Journal titled The Wandering Officer found that Florida cops who had been fired from a previous law enforcement job were more likely to be fired from their next job or to receive a complaint for a “moral character violation,” compared to rookies and officers who have never been fired.

The study analyzed nearly 100,000 full-time law-enforcement officers from almost 500 agencies in Florida over a 30-year period. The study concluded that “wandering officers may pose serious risks, particularly given how difficult it is to fire a police officer.”

Union contracts can give police officers strong job security, sometimes even when misconduct is committed. The controversial Act 10 legislation passed by Republicans in 2011 crippled organized public-sector labor in Wisconsin, but largely left police and fire unions, groups that lean to the political right, untouched.

A profession —properly understood — has substantive and ethical standards for membership that the profession requires and consistently enforces against its own members. Many occupations are styled as professions, but genuine professions monitor and discipline their own members. 

Across America, traditional professions like medicine, law, and the clergy find in their respective institutions a willingness to overlook, excuse, and even reward (through promotion) misconduct.

This willingness to overlook inadequacy, misconduct, and outright criminality belies talk about ‘excellence,’ ‘service,’ ‘honor,’ etc.

Cameron writes that a “bill that would require law enforcement agencies to maintain a personnel file for each employee and disclose that file to any agency that may want to hire them has bipartisan support. If enacted, the measure would bar future nondisclosure agreements that shield police personnel files from prospective employers.”

The disabled or disadvantaged in society deserve compassion and support that professionals most certainly do not. We’ve too many professionals who want authority over others while simultaneously demanding tender regard that only the disabled or disadvantaged deserve.

In law, medicine, the clergy, or policing there should be no right to perpetual membership: lawyers, doctors, clergy, or police officers who fail the standards required of them can — and should —find other, less demanding occupations in the free labor market.

Gov. DeSantis, King of Self-Awareness:

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