Besides recent criminal charges, several common threads exist among the six Cleveland police officers accused of assault, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. When applying for their jobs, half reported financial delinquencies and other money troubles, which law enforcement officials nationwide cite as a possible harbinger for corrupt police activity and other irresponsible behavior. Half reported drug use in the past seven years.
Half had arrest records with offenses ranging from drug paraphernalia to disorderly conduct. Such misdemeanors are not disqualifiers but should be a concern, said Hubert Williams, a former police director in Newark, N.J., and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation. “If I was running a police department and I ran into that, I would consider that to be a very serious problem.” City Safety Director Martin Flask said that by the time a list of ranked candidates arrives on his desk, he is bound by the city charter to select one of every three, in order, until all openings are filled. The so-called “one-in-three” rule is intended to prevent patronage hires. But it means that sometimes the city might be forced to choose someone with a blemish on his record, Flask said.