Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Oops! Arrest records uncovered on new officers.

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Oops! Arrest records uncovered on new officers.

    If it was gonna happen anywhere, it figures it would turn up in East St Louis.

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/new...B?OpenDocument

    EAST ST. LOUIS — After swearing in 10 police hires this month, Mayor Alvin Parks proudly told the audience "you are as safe as anybody now, in this city, in this room."

    He praised a city committee for choosing the officers from a pool of 29 candidates and for performing background checks.

    But documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch revealed that two of these new officers had criminal histories, and one of the two even took the oath of office with an outstanding arrest warrant for domestic battery.

    The top recruit — the son of Police Chief Michael Baxton — had been released from the Army for misconduct. The records of several new hires are marred by arrests for misdemeanors, extensive traffic citations and multiple bankruptcies.

    This was the largest group of new police hires in this high-crime city since 1994; they come at a cost of roughly $500,000 a year, funded in part by the East St. Louis School District.

    Now, city officials admit they rushed the process to try to get as many officers into the police academy as possible by July 1.

    The city relied on its own investigations instead of waiting for Illinois State Police background checks, which the city received this past week. City Manager Robert Betts said Friday he found some information of concern in a cursory review of those reports but would not go into detail.

    Isadore Chambers, chairman of the city's Police and Fire Board and a former East St. Louis police chief, said, "We should have waited until we got the background checks done, not by East St. Louis, but by an outside source."

    Betts said one of the new hires has already been dismissed, and the city will get rid of any other officers during the one-year probation period if troubling information surfaces. City officials say it can be difficult, though, to get qualified candidates in this impoverished area. The city had assembled the existing Police and Fire Board in October, and its main priority was expanding the police force.

    Chambers said the city has learned from some of its mistakes and won't rely solely on its own investigations in the future.

    "This is only going to help us on the next hiring list," he said.

    The new recruits include officer Larry D. Greenlee, 36, who served 15 days in jail in 1993 in Texas' Bell County for assault that caused the victim "bodily harm," according to court documents. He said on his application that he had been fined for fighting there, Betts said, but did not mention the assault conviction. The city did not investigate the incident.

    Greenlee was arrested for aggravated assault in St. Clair County in 1996; the case was dismissed in 1997. He also has been cited for operating an uninsured vehicle. He did not respond to a request for comment.

    Officer Lawrence Wood, 41, gave the city an alias on his application; he had an outstanding warrant for a domestic battery on Feb. 9, 1997, under the name Lawrence Johnson.

    Wood has since been let go from the department; he declined to comment.

    A criminal records search in St. Clair County revealed that, as Lawrence Wood, he also was found guilty of battery and criminal damage to property in 1992, as well as two instances of criminal trespassing in 1993 and 1994. Wood has been cited twice for driving on a suspended license and four times for operating an uninsured vehicle.

    His wife, Debra Wood, also an East St. Louis police officer, swore him in at the June 16 ceremony. She declined to comment.

    Officer Michael Baxton Jr., 23, was released from the Army in 2005 without completing his term of service because of misconduct and left with a general discharge under honorable conditions. His discharge papers say he failed to show up for formation, failed to comply with corrective training, was disrespectful to a noncommissioned officer, provided improper identification and failed to hand over his license when asked.

    On Sept. 15, 2007, his former employer, the Brooklyn Police Department, caught him driving one of its police cars. He took the car without permission after he was no longer employed there, according to a police officer's report. Brooklyn police did not return calls for comment on that case.

    Michael Baxton Jr. did not respond to multiple requests for comment at the police department and his home.

    Police Chief Michael Baxton would not comment on any of the cases, citing personnel issues.

    Three new hires have filed for bankruptcy at least once; one had filed three times and has several small-claims judgments in his financial record. The city has not performed any financial checks.

    Illinois law requires police departments to perform background checks on candidates, who are automatically disqualified for felonies such as murder or rape, and some misdemeanors. Lesser crimes often fall into a "gray area," at the discretion of the departments, said Laimutis Nargelenas, deputy director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

    Nargelenas said criminal behavior is the most important part of the check; financial records can help determine if applicants are responsible, honest and less inclined to accept a bribe.

    Nargelenas previously was a colonel with the Illinois State Police, which generally dismisses applicants with any criminal history — even arrests without conviction — because the agency receives thousands of applications a year. He said smaller cities might have different standards, especially if they have difficulty recruiting.

    "That's left up to the community," he said.

    Other East St. Louis police officers have been caught on the wrong side of the law recently.

    In May, East St. Louis police Officer Debra Simpkins was charged with obstruction for allegedly trying to block Belleville police from dispersing a crowd of teens and investigating a fight. The case is pending.

    In September, Belleville police found East St. Louis Detective Ricky Perry allegedly drunk, asleep and armed in his unmarked police vehicle. The detective was released to other East St. Louis employees and not arrested.

  • #2
    Nice. It happens everywhere. My dept was so backed up doing backgrounds that IA had to go around and fire probationers who had already graduated the academy and had been on the streets for months for things that should have been caught well before hiring them.
    Originally Posted by VegasMetro
    maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

    Comment


    • #3
      With as many people as they have wanting police jobs they should be able to find good people to work there.
      Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

      Comment


      • #4
        No one is immune to being stupid in their life's of course most of these former officers failed to do was to inform of their past to the department investigator, if and I say if they stated the truth it might have been different!
        Take care and stay safe!
        Ralph8119
        A Little Something Else For Those 60's & 70's Music Lovers On Line!
        sigpic
        http://www.myfreenetradio.com/listen70s.asx

        A Cool Website On History In Photos Of The New York City Police Department!
        http://www.policeny.com/home.html

        Policelink!
        http://policelink.monster.com/member/Ralph8119

        Inside The New York City Police Academy!
        http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/pr/videos.shtml

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nebraska_deputy View Post
          With as many people as they have wanting police jobs they should be able to find good people to work there.
          You are right. I find it hilarious that people like those listed in the article were hired.

          No one mentioned how competitive East STL is in comparison to other area agencies in terms of pay/benefits. We all know that it is a dangerous, and crime ridden city with a lot of problems. It might be a lot more difficult for them to find good recruits than you would think.
          What is Perseverance?
          -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
          -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
          -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


          BOP - BPA - ICE

          Comment


          • #6
            yet candidates around the country get passed over due to speeding tickets..
            In the end we're all just chalk lines on the concrete drawn only to be washed away, for the time that I've been given, I am what I am. I'd rather you hate me for everything I am, Than have you love me for being something that Im not

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mstangfk View Post
              yet candidates around the country get passed over due to speeding tickets..
              I think you have to understand the history of corruption within East St. Louis government to view this in the proper context.

              Let me suggest that given the nature of East St. Louis local government, no qualified candidate was disadvantaged because they were passed over and their job was given to an unqualified candidate.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it says quite a bit that they only had a pool of 29 to hire 10 people.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I moved away from St.Louis(Missouri side) the "good ol' boy network" was alive and well. Where you went to high school was also strangely important. The corruption at all levels of the government was well known. While I didn't have any actual experience with it I wouldn't be surprised to hear that extended to who got considered for a position as a police officer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow, you guys are making St. Louis sound like a real life Gotham City. I've only been there in passing.
                    MOLON LABE!

                    Ever Cook any fools?!?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Holly Crap Batman!!!!

                      Originally posted by BeansBaxter View Post
                      Wow, you guys are making St. Louis sound like a real life Gotham City. I've only been there in passing.
                      I bet you dollars too donuts their ain't no Batman & Robin living in East St. Louis
                      Take care and stay safe!
                      Ralph8119
                      A Little Something Else For Those 60's & 70's Music Lovers On Line!
                      sigpic
                      http://www.myfreenetradio.com/listen70s.asx

                      A Cool Website On History In Photos Of The New York City Police Department!
                      http://www.policeny.com/home.html

                      Policelink!
                      http://policelink.monster.com/member/Ralph8119

                      Inside The New York City Police Academy!
                      http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/pr/videos.shtml

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ralph8119 View Post
                        I bet you dollars too donuts their ain't no Batman & Robin living in East St. Louis
                        Not yet. The mayor is holding those positions for at least a alchoholic to apply.
                        What Is A Veteran?
                        A 'Veteran,' whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve is 'someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to and including his life.' That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand that fact.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not the only one...

                          15 U.S. Capitol Police Officers Fired
                          Officers To Appeal Decision To Fire

                          June 24, 2008 / NBCTV4

                          There was a new controversy brewing inside the U.S. Capitol Police Department, News4 reported on Monday.

                          News4's Jackie Bensen reported that 15 newly-hired officers have been fired. The officers were allowed into the recruiting class despite red flags in their applications. This is the third major flap in the past eight months for the department charged with protecting Capitol Hill.

                          Sources told News4 that Capitol Police recruiters should have been aware of any issues with the officers' psychological evaluations and criminal background checks, which were done, according to the sources, months before the 15 officers were hired -- then abruptly fired.

                          On Friday, officials abruptly informed the 15 new officers, Bensen reported -- one-third of a recruit class training at a facility in Georgia -- that they should return to DC because of problems revealed as a result of their criminal background checks and psychological evaluations. Sources said Monday morning, they were told to resign or be fired.

                          "Police agencies do psychological evaluations months in advance of when officers are hired," said Marcello Muzzatti, president of the D.C. Lodge of the Fraternal Order Of Police. "If there were problems, they should have seen it before the officers were even hired."

                          Sources said none of the 15 officers have resigned, and they plan to appeal the decision to fire them, Bensen reported.

                          Earlier this year, it was learned that bomb squad officers initially failed to locate potential explosives components in the pickup truck of a man who was stopped near the Capitol carrying a shotgun. Last November, an officer was terminated after a series of mysterious restroom fires.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            BROOKLYN POLICE DEPARTMENT? :
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LAJARA View Post
                              BROOKLYN POLICE DEPARTMENT? :
                              Brooklyn Heights, Missouri

                              ---or---

                              Brooklyn, Illinois
                              "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                              Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                              Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 4616 users online. 205 members and 4411 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 19,482 at 11:44 AM on 09-29-2011.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X