Inspired by Web sites that allow users to rate teachers, doctors, even neighbors, a California couple has created one that allows people to rate police officers and sheriff's deputies across the U.S., the New York Times reports. Some law enforcement officials strongly object to the site, arguing that it exposes officers to resentment and reprisal and vowing to pursue legislation to block it. Jerry Dyer, Fresno police chief and president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said the site puts officers and their families “in grave danger” because it reports their names and agencies, the raw material for further Internet research by those with the intent to harm.
Gino Sesto, a founder of RateMyCop.com, said it does not post identifying information beyond what would appear on a traffic ticket issued by an officer. More than 140,000 officers are listed on the site, and about a third are in California, Texas, and Florida. Dyer said his organization and other law enforcement groups planned to press for legislation to stop the Web site. Prof. Peter Keane of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and a former police commissioner there, said it would be difficult to stop the Web site if it used only information available in the public domain. Sgt. James Russo of the New York Police Department said the department would decide by the end of the month whether to send the Web site requested information on its officers. Washington, D.C., and Chicago have turned down RateMyCop's request. Users can search for officers by name, department or state and give them up to five stars based on professionalism, fairness, and overall satisfaction during an encounter.