You Get What You Pay For
Municipalities that are unwilling to pay competitive salaries to attract qualified law enforcement officers are too often willing to overlook evidence that a candidate can't be trusted to use good judgment. This is the "spotty record" that Kevin Freibott brought with him when he applied for a position with Jersey City:
Officer Freibott was fired from the department [in Middletown, NJ] in 2001 after a car accident outside a bar and grill in Atlantic Highlands in which he was driving with an expired license. Although he was reinstated after petitioning the state, he received a six-month suspension. ... Officer Freibott’s history included seven accidents, six moving violations and three license suspensions, including a drunken-driving violation in 1988 and the revocation of his license for failure to comply with a drug and alcohol program.
Is this the kind of guy who should be trusted with a badge and a gun? Jersey City thought so. Its police department hired Friebott to work a midnight shift. On January 23, he spent the evening partying in New York City, got tanked, and rear-ended a Grand Am, killing two of its occupants. At least Freibott wasn't on his way to report for duty: he was out on sick leave.
Politicians who win elections by promising to ramp up law enforcement need to explain how they plan to pay for the plan. "Tough on crime" politicians are often "no new taxes" politicians. Hiring officers on the cheap will eventually lead the public to pay a heavy price.
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