The New Professionalism

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Off duty female police sergeant gets into a bar fight with another woman, smashes a glass into the woman’s head, then grinds the shards into her scalp.

The good news? The Detroit Police Department fired her, and the DA charged her with aggravated assault.

The bad news? She’s now deputy police chief for the town of Highland Park.

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12 Responses to “The New Professionalism”

  1. #1 |  RWW | 

    So imagine Emily’s surprise when she learned the same officer that Detroit Police didn’t want, wound up in Highland Park, first as an inspector. And just a few weeks ago: named Deputy Chief.

    This is tangential of course, but it’s amazing what passes for professional writing these days.

  2. #2 |  Pete | 

    “Still certified by the state as a police officer”

    Well there’s your problem right there. They just need a “if you ever smash a glass into a person’s head and then grind the shards into their scalp you lose your certification to act under color of law to enforce the law” rule.

    Or as I like to put it, common fucking sense.

    If the story is really as cut and dried as it sounds, i.e., she was the aggressor, she lied about it being a preemptive self-defense move, and she really did do that much damage to the other woman… There’s no middle part of that story that justifies the end with her still wearing a badge and a gun, and certainly not winning a promotion to deputy chief in a different jurisdiction.

  3. #3 |  Pete | 

    @RWW – I think that was actually a transcript from a live broadcast. There was a reference earlier in the story to ‘a glass like this’ which leads me to believe that.

  4. #4 |  Aresen | 

    “Still certified by the state as a police officer”

    I would like to see a comment on that factoid from those who think government certification/licensing ensures high standards.

  5. #5 |  Andrew Roth | 

    “Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp admits he didn’t know his deputy chief had been charged with a felony until we informed him, and says he’ll look into the case details.”

    What the hell were HPPD’s background investigators doing? Does HPPD even conduct background investigations of its applicants? Felony assault charges, a no-contest plea to aggravated assault and termination with cause on account of the same assault are pretty hard circumstances to miss.

    It would be one thing had the background investigators done a thorough review and determined that Sgt. Jones really had turned the page following the assault. Arguably, not nearly enough time has elapsed since the assault to consider rehiring her for a sworn position, but police recruiters need the discretion to evaluate applicants’ histories of violence and not be forced to summarily reject every applicant who once violated some arbitrary standard. Statutory disqualifications are a bane of good recruiting. Good recruitment is a complicated art leavened with science, not a checklist of sins that successful applicants did not commit.

    That said, recruiters should make damn sure that they’ve adequately evaluated applicants with violent histories before offering employment, and it would probably take a very optimistic hiring board, severe shortstaffing, or both for someone with such a recent history of violence to be recruited in good faith.

    If, as Mayor Yopp implied, no one in Highland Park was aware of Sgt. Jones’ past, the city dropped the ball, and it’s reasonable to assume that HPPD’s recruitment system is in a shambles.

  6. #6 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Another thing that really rubs me the wrong way is that Jones is suing the city of Detroit for wrongful termination. Given the circumstances, it just looks arrogant and greedy. To return to the concept of good recruiting as an art, the combination of recent violence and a lawsuit for wrongful termination in response to said violence, in spite of having been given a second chance, is more than enough for good recruiters to determine that an applicant doesn’t presently have a temperament appropriate for a sworn position.

  7. #7 |  J.S. | 

    Just another case of the “only ones” who we can trust with our safety. Ban guns! Trust the government!

  8. #8 |  TC | 

    She is a good cop, she beat that bitch up on her own time!

  9. #9 |  John C. Randolph | 

    Does Highland Park carry liability insurance? Does their insurance carrier know that they’ve hired a seven-figure lawsuit waiting to happen?


  10. #10 |  Pinandpuller | 

    A $7000 settlement in Detroit would be great. I could buy a house!

  11. #11 |  Pete | 

    In Capitalist-almost Detroit, house buys you!

    If you are cop.

  12. #12 |  derfel cadarn | 

    The wonderful worlds police professionalism and gov. competence. Does Highland Park not do any background checks when hiring LEOs or are the rest so incompetent they are incapable of doing even a performing the must basic of tasks. Also sounds like our girl has some anger control issues likely linked to steroid use maybe? In any case this type of problem is so wide spread in this country that it is an institutional bias toward the enslavement of the general population and must be stopped at all cost.