One Third of Atlanta Police Academy Grads Have Criminal Records
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 1 in 3 recent Police Academy graduates in Atlanta has a criminal record.
More than one-third of recent Atlanta Police Academy graduates have been arrested or cited for a crime, according to a review of their job applications. The arrests ranged from minor offenses such as shoplifting to violent charges including assault. More than one-third of the officers had been rejected by other law enforcement agencies, and more than half of the recruits admitted using marijuana.
“On its face, it’s troubling and disturbing,” said Vincent Fort, a state senator from Atlanta. “It would be very troubling that people might be hitting the streets to serve and protect and they have histories that have made them unqualified to serve on other departments.”
To be fair to the City of Atlanta, none of the men in question have a felony conviction–these are all misdemeanor convictions. Indeed, this isn’t really as bad as it seems. For example, if somebody shoplifted five or ten years ago but has had a clean record since, is it really that fair to bar them from police work? That said, I do find this to be a bit problematic when it comes to allowing those convicted of violent offenses to serve as police officers, even if they were only misdemeanors.