What really happens when a cop (or a deputy) breaks the Code of Silence?
There is no doubt that the Code exists. The Code is the silent agreement not to talk publicly about what happens at work. If you see something "bad" happen, do not talk about it away from the shop. Or even in the shop.
It's just something that officers learn. There is no "class" in basic training about it. You just pick up on it. Or you "get" the message when you see what happens, when another officer does speak out.
Ranks close up. The wagons get circled. That other officer is ostracized.
Watch the old movie Serpico again. Check out www.frankserpico.com. Serpico (born 4/14/1936) testified about corruption in the New York Police Department in 1971.
The same thing happens right here in McHenry County. You can see the evidence in the Letters to the Editors of local newspapers and in comments on the various blogs. Instead of asking, "Could this really be true?", many comments are written to discredit the cops who are blowing the whistles.
The McHenry County Sheriff's Department should have an Internal Affairs Division. An IAD must have credibility, and it must have the confidence of the officers. Officers must know that, if they take a complaint and evidence to the IAD, it will be investigated fairly.
What does a commander of an IAD do, if he gets a complaint about the top dog in the department? Is there an S.O.P. (Hello? What does CALEA have to say?) for going outside for additional investigating muscle?