A law enforcement group plans to build a national database to track rogue or “gypsy” cops–dismissed or fired officers who often are able to find jobs with other police forces. Officials at the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training recently received approval of federal funding for the National Decertification Database. The plan was revealed Sunday during a Criminal Justice Journalists panel on the problems of gypsy cops at the 112th annual International Chiefs of Police Convention in Miami Beach. Forty-three states have agencies that can strip cops of their licenses, but there had been no interstate sharing of the information. The states without such an agency are California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The Miami Herald and the Charleston, S.C., Post have reported recently on the problem of gypsy cops hired in new cities that were unaware of past misconduct, from shootings to sexual assault. The new system will enable employers to check a candidate’s name, date of birth or social security number. It can provide information whether that job-seeker was decertified by another police agency. Ray Franklin, executive director of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions, said Sunday the new system had funding–an issue in the past.