Walter wrote:If an officer screws up, they are accountable for it. I have never said otherwise. Given how sensitive police agencies are here, UW and Madison included, if the officers were wrong, they'll get hammered for it and the department sued.
Can you cite some examples of this? I seem to recall the "Patty" case taking several years and, even then, the apology was pretty lame and insincere. Did the officer in the patty case gets disciplined? suspended?
I've seen how long it takes the PFC to act against an officer and that is when the Chief wants them to act.
Sure, some officers fired from MPD in the recent past: Grogan, Henderson, Vandenbelt among several others that were forced to resign or be terminated. Those names are not released publicly.
The department is currently starting procedures to fire an officer but since I don't know if any info has been released publicly. Officers are also disciplined for minor policy violations such as being late for briefing, late reports, non department use of email and internet. Minor policy violations can result in 1 or 2 day suspensions without pay ($240 to $480 before taxes-think about that the next time you are 5 minutes late for work).
As far as I recall, there was no discipline in the Patty case because there were no violations of policy or law.
Of course the PFC acts when the Chief wants them to...he's the one who brings formal requests seeking termination. Citizens can also bring matters to the PFC if they want but it is rarely done.
The reason PFC hearings take so long is because it is a civilian panel which meets when the members are available. The City Attorney (or Assistant City Attorney), the Chief, the officer, his/her legal representative, the legal counsel to the PFC, and the 4(?) members of the PFC all have to come up with a time they can all meet, which is usually in the evening or a weekend for a couple of hours at a time. You expect quick action with due process involving testimony from opposing parties under that circumstance?