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Friday, March 13, 2009

POST Letter: Prince George's Lets an Officer Off Easy

Prince George's Lets an Officer Off Easy.
Post, 13 Mar 2009 (Letter from Karen O'Keefe).
The chief spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department told The Post that he thinks the results of a disciplinary panel's investigation of an officer who repeatedly failed to investigate crimes or show up in court was "a good example of the police department policing itself" ["Officer Found Guilty in Failed Investigations," Metro, March 6].

I disagree. I think the case is yet another example of police discipline being woefully inadequate.

Though Cpl. Alphonso Hayes was found guilty of nine disciplinary charges, the possible penalties are only a demotion, suspension and hundreds of dollars in fines. In any well-run organization, a person would be fired for this pattern of gross dereliction of duty. His former supervisor said that at least 12 suspects in armed carjackings and robberies either received vastly diminished sentences or went free because of Cpl. Hayes's failure to do his job.

As the suspects he was paid to investigate remain free to possibly victimize others, it appears that Cpl. Hayes will continue to be paid with our tax money. I'm offended that it took this long for him to be punished and that the punishment will be so inadequate. It's past time for the legislature to look into independent oversight and true accountability.

(Posted 13 Mar 2009)

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