Monday, August 13, 2012

Why bearing down?

Over the past few days several people have asked me why I continue to beat away on the McHenry County Sheriff's Department.

Why do you think? Because they are such an easy target?

I heard recently about a deputy who beat up a person who had been arrested. The subject was handcuffed and in the patrol car. The subject was in the patrol car when he was battered (the term in the law) by the deputy.

Should the deputy have been charged with a crime? Darned right he should have!

Should he have been prosecuted and convicted? Yes.

Should he have gone to jail? Absolutely.

And then there are the times when deputies falsify crash reports. Several years ago a woman was driving past a squad car, when the deputy suddenly started a left u-turn from the shoulder and drove into the side of the woman's car. As I heard the story, the initial report indicated the deputy was at fault. Then the positions of the deputy and the woman got switched in the report, and the woman ended up as Unit 1, the at-fault driver. Funny thing, though - she was not ticketed.

And because her car was "Unit 1", the County refused to pay the $5,000+ in damage to her car.


I helped her as far as I could. I'm not an attorney. The sergeant who falsified the report wouldn't return the woman driver's phone calls. Undersheriff Lowery wouldn't engage. Sheriff Nygren refused to intervene. I suggested that she sue the County. Unfortunately, she didn't.

And more recently I heard about a supervisor who refused to change a crash report. What? A supervisor with integrity at the Sheriff's Department?

Well, I'm sure there is more than one. There are many honest deputies at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department.

I remember meeting a couple of street cops in Denver who wanted to write tickets to political bigwigs who parked on the City sidewalks outside a well-known downtown restaurant. The problem was that the District Captain had ordered them not to. Since they liked their district and didn't want to end up patrolling the stockyards at midnight, they followed orders and ignored the lawbreakers.

Honest cops who observe wrongdoing and want to report it should not have to worry about losing their jobs or losing positions within a Department that they have earned.

Is it time for the McHenry County Sheriff's Department to have an Internal Affairs Division? Well, maybe, as soon as we have a sheriff who rewards fairness and integrity and obeys the laws himself, beginning with traffic laws.


Curious1 said...

Yet oddly if one of them signs a document that a passenger was actually driving to cover up for the actual drivers crime you not only give a pass you seem to encourage the behavior.

Gus said...

Don't even understand what you mean.