After a N. Charleston, S.C., police officer was fired for exposing himself to a 12-year-old girl, he was in line for another police job in a rural community, says the Charleston Post and Courier. The state later barred him from the job, but the case illustrates how some police agencies, desperate for manpower, hire rejects and overlook misconduct that other departments won’t tolerate.
Some South Carolina police departments unknowingly hire officers with tainted backgrounds because they lack the money or concern to perform thorough background checks. Some departments fail to properly notify the state of new hires or departures. Cops who commit crimes take refuge in a legal system that doles out pardons and or erases misdeeds from their records. Troubled officers get second and third chances because their departments don’t properly report misconduct, leaving their records unblemished. Departments withhold details of discipline because they are afraid of being sued or don’t want to harm an officer’s career. Some officers facing discipline slip through by simply resigning. That often causes police departments to drop investigations, leaving nothing on the officer’s record but a routine departure. A lack of money at many small rural departments causes some chiefs and sheriffs to lower their entry standards and accept tarnished cops.