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At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the United States have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct according to records mostly from the past decade, an investigation by USA Today Network found.
“Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses,” reports USA Today in its April 25 article. “Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.”
USA Today spent more than one year obtaining public records from thousands of state agencies, sheriffs and police departments and prosecutors to create “the biggest collection of police misconduct records.”
The records include more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies, including 402 officers decertified “for cause” by Idaho Police Officer and Standards and Training, or POST. Most of the Idaho officers listed were decertified between 1999 and 2017, but some of the records go back as far as 1986.
USA Today compiled the records into a publicly accessible database that includes the officers’ names, the department they worked for when the state revoked their certification and, in most cases, the reasons why. Idaho is one of the states that did not provide a reason why it decertified an officer for cause.
Idaho POST did not provide a reason for decertification, only the officer’s name, agency and date of decertification.
Of the 402 officers decertified “for cause” in Idaho between between 1986 and March 2017:
▪ 127 were from city police departments including 14 from Boise, five each from Caldwell, Mountain Home and Nampa and one from Meridian.
▪ 184 were from county sheriff’s offices including 19 from Canyon, 14 from Kootenai and 13 each from Ada and Bannock.
▪ 11 were from Idaho State Police.
▪ 80 were from Idaho Department of Correction, juvenile detention centers, Idaho Department of Fish and Game or Idaho Brand Board.