Zero Tolerance

Red_city flowers_2012-08-02

2016-04-05 – C’mon Chicago. We just got a nominee for police superintendent in Eddie Johnson. He seemed like a decent pick. And today we learn that Eddie’s fiancé is under investigation for cheating on the police exam.

Eddie, you’re outa here.

I don’t care if your honey is guilty or innocent. If you want to be the head cop, you must avoid not just impropriety, you must avoid the appearance of impropriety.

This is the appearance of impropriety.

And if you don’t withdraw your name, Rahm needs to withdraw it for you.

I guess it’s an old fashioned idea. I first learned about the appearance of impropriety in an ethics class during law school. The idea is that if you are a representative of the legal system, you have to be totally on the up-and-up. Not only must you do no wrong, you must not give anyone reason for any suspicion.

That idea seems to have passed out of fashion, but with all the trouble cops are having in Chicago (and elsewhere), maybe it’s time to bring it back.

So no more running red lights except on true emergencies (and getting a donut is not an emergency). No more free food. No get out of jail free cards for your buddies. Or yourself.

If you want to be a cop (much less the top cop), you have to play be the rules—and appear to be playing by the rules.

Zero tolerance.

You talk about the need to rebuild trust in the communities. There’s only one way to do it, Eddie. You’re not walking the talk. You need to take a hike.

(This advice ought to apply to mayors, as well.)

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