Natolii, on Sep 27 2005, 09:20 AM, said:
Good deal... Punish those motivated by personal fear, and give some lenacy to those that had families in the line of fire.
LORD of the SWORD, on Sep 27 2005, 10:13 AM, said:
A tribunal? WTF! These officers are NOT in the military. There is no such thing as awol for them. They are employees of the city, or state, but they do have the RIGHT to up and quit if they want to.
LORD of the SWORD, on Sep 27 2005, 10:36 AM, said:
I'm not saying what they did was cool...But a tribunal implies that they didn't have the right to just up and quit. Which they do have that right to do. Was it the right thing to do? Of course not. Should they be docked pay? Most certainly. Should those wanting to come back be allowed? Hell NO! They've already proven themselves unreliable.
But they DO have the RIGHT to just up and quit.
A few points of clarification, if I may. Police, Fire, Correctional Officers, and all that hold PEACE OFFICER status are para-military organizations. Thus they are bound by very similar rules as military personnel. If the chief says “You will work 24/7”, they are expected to work 24/7. In the case of emergencies, they are expected to serve knowing full well the dangers they may face and the sacrifices that may be expected of them. They also understand that their duty and obligation is usually placed before personal concerns—and that sometimes means not being able to see to the safety of their own family. They know this and their families know this as well.
They do have the right to “up and quit”, but that means that they turn in their badge and notify their supervisor of this decision. Many of the officers who went AWOL (and yes, that is exactly what it is) never notified anyone. They violated the oath they took to protect and defend, they violated the rules and regs they serve under, they violated state and local laws—and they knew this when they went AWOL.
These men and woman usually serve under the “Peace Officer Standards and Training” (POST), and that states that violations of this nature are handled by a tribunal. The Police Superintendent is not only correct in his actions, he is bound by POST, the oath he took when he became Police Superintendent, and by the state and local laws he serves under.
I believe that this is the “Oath of Office” sworn to by these men and women:
"I,________ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___________, according to the best of my ability and understanding, so help me God."
These men and women also adopt “The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics”. They read and study this during their academny, and they repeat this when they are sworn in as a peace officer. It reads as follows:
"As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violation or disorder, and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice."
"I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department."
"Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or whatever is confided in me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty."
"I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities."
"I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of the public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of public service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideas, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession – LAW ENFORCEMENT."
On a personal note, while I understand the fear some of these men/women felt, and their desire to protect their families, unless they notified their immediate supervisor of their decision to quit, then they were in violation of the law. At the very least I find their actions selfish and irresponsible.