1. Archer10
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    Archer10 New Member

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    Corrupt Police Department. Help?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Archer10, Jul 13, 2012.

    Hey everyone. I'm writing a story where the county's police department is corrupt. Or maybe even just a few officers. I want them to be affiliated with a local gang. Then I want there to be a new guy who steps in and fires the corrupt officers. This isn't the plot of the story, but it's a small yet important part of the plot.

    So, who is in charge of firing police officers? The sheriff? Police chief? Commissioner???

    Thanks!
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, you need to get your law enforcement bodies straight...

    cities and towns would have police departments

    a county would have a sheriff's department

    these are entirely different things... a police chief is hired by the city administration and a sheriff is usually elected by the citizens of that county...

    so, do you want this to be a corrupt sheriff's department, or police department?... whichever you choose will determine how the corruption can be dealt with by a 'new guy'... only the person at the top can actually 'fire' officers, or approve of their being fired...

    if that person is an elected official, he [or she] doesn't have to worry about being replaced because of that action till the next election... unless, of course, a recall election is forced by the bad guys...

    but if that person is the police chief, or police commissioner who can be her/himself fired by corrupt politicians who control the city government, then it's a whole other ballgame...
     
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  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maia is right that these things can vary by jurisdiction -- and in some places, there ARE county police departments. Where I grew up there were county police departments that served the entire county. Only very large cities had PDs. Where I live now there are town PDs, but not every town has them and sometimes even if you live in the town, you're in an unincorporated part of the town, in which case those aren't "your" police officers, but you'd be served by the state troopers.

    Where are you setting your story? I think you need to ask more specific questions, based on where you're setting it. (Even if you're making a fictionalized version of a real place.) Some PDs have very helpful websites that might set out the structure of the force, and might even have some sort of PR person you could call or email to ask. (You probably wouldn't want to tell that person you're basing the story on their particular PD if its corrupt, though -- just in general for a story, etc.)
     
  4. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Keep in mind too that civil servants have special rules regarding hiring and firing, and that law enforcement officers are often protected by a union. This latter fact could be useful to you in explaining why corrupt officers are still at work.
     
  5. Archer10
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    Archer10 New Member

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    Oh, interesting. Now I'm more confused than I was before. Looks like I need to rework some things. Thanks for help!!
     
  6. zaphod
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    zaphod Member

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    You should research the events surrounding Bell, California, which was infamously corrupt and had a fairly standard municipal government for a small American city or suburb.

    In a council manager city government that operates its own public services, don't city managers sometimes hire and fire police chiefs?


    Oh this is good one
     
  7. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Bell's corruption was not standard.
     

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