The Cincinnati Police Department tried and failed 19 times to fire officers and dispatchers in the past decade, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. One officer tackled an unarmed Alzheimer’s patient, resulting in a $700,000 settlement. Another was accused of shooting a woman with a Taser and taunting her. Two others drove a drunken woman home and had sex with her while on duty. Administrators fired all the officers, including one who was fired twice; many of them are back at work today.
An Enquirer analysis of personnel files found that of 35 police firing cases have been resolved since 1998, 19 cases ended with a settlement or an arbitrator’s ruling that returned the fired officers to the job. The police union sees the appeals as crucial protection against unfair or excessive discipline. City officials say the inability to keep fired officers off the payroll erodes public confidence, increases the city’s financial liability and creates the impression the police department cannot police itself. “It’s difficult to deal with,” said Mayor Mark Mallory. “It’s hard to explain to the general public why somebody the city fired has their job back.”