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Integrity in Policing Yesterday and TodayDon Dupay Salem-News.com
What does it take to be a good police officer today? It starts and ends with honesty and integrity.
(PORTLAND, OR) - Integrity is a signpost that sits at the fork in the road.
One fork takes the high ground, bound by the officers sworn oath to “protect” and the US Constitution, which mandates police behavior. The other fork is the road to, the 'end justifies the means' ideology. The thinking that it is okay to bend the rules, as long as 'the bastard goes to jail and as long as I don't get caught.'
Police officers that subscribe to 'the end justifies the means' as long as the job gets done, are in fact doing a job on their own integrity; shooting themselves in the foot so to speak. It is a slippery slope that once embarked upon, erodes the officers thinking and his actions even further, until finally the officer in his/her own mind becomes the judge and the jury. Their sworn oath and the constitution have fallen by the wayside, rarely to be considered.
The police profession was born in corruption. Officers received their jobs as political favors, or purchased their jobs from the politicians in charge. Tammany Hall, in NY, was the epitome of corruption, where officers were at the very least minions of the political powers that be, or at the worst thugs and henchmen doing the bidding of their bosses, or for their own greed. (McNamara, Robert. (2013) “Tammany Hall; New York City's Political Machine was the Home to Legendary Corruption.” (history1800s.about.com/od/thegildedage/a/tammanyhall01.htm).
Ever so slowly the push to professionalize the police has moved the law enforcement profession closer to the goal of integrity. Yet corruption and various forms of deception still remain a stain that seems impossible to eradicate in the larger departments. As a young idealistic Portland police officer, I was sworn into a corrupt system. Assigned to the Vice division I worked for a commander, Carl Crisp, that in addition to his police job, “moonlighted” as the operator of several brothels in the north end. My Vice partner and I were shuffled aside, sent on “fools errands” and told to harass and arrest as many “queers” as possible so the world would be safe from these “sex perverts” as they were described to us. At North precinct in the St. Johns section of Portland, I had the misfortune to work for Captain Jim Purcell Jr, who was fired from his job as Chief of Police, in the middle 1950's, ousted for corruption, and reduced in rank to Captain and sent to be in charge of North precinct. (Standford, 2004).
There in North Precinct, Captain Purcell continued to operate brothels in the North end of Portland, and punished me when I refused to keep “hands off” of his whorehouse operations. He did so, by removing me from my assigned police district, and forcing me to work desk duty and direct traffic at the West end of the St. Johns bridge every day for several weeks. On his way to work, from Scappoose, he would drive by and cheerfully wave at me, reminding me of my powerlessness, a smug grin on his fat face.
One attempt at police professionalization has been the creation of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) signed into law in Oregon in 1961 where minimum standards of training and ethics are taught to all Oregon law enforcement officers. DPSST recommends the following oath also recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of police:
Former Portland Chief of Police, Derrick Foxworth, was forced to retire in October 2008 for sending blatant, sexually explicit emails to a female employee he admitted to having sex with. One wonders how a man smart enough to become a police Captain and then be appointed to Chief of Police could be so foolish as to document his indiscretion so that it became fodder for salacious newspaper accounts, public gossip and ridicule. I suggest that he took the wrong fork in the road and tumbled down that slippery slope of disintegrating integrity. I also wonder how many other improper decisions he made, that affected the citizens he was sworn to protect.
Derrick Foxworth was appointed to his Chief's position by the mayor of Portland at that time, but elected police officials have also slipped and fallen.
Former Marion County Oregon Sheriff Russ Isham was caught red-handed by one of his own deputies in a cemetery having sex with a woman not his wife. Sheriff Isham tumbled down the slippery slope, not only in regards to his oath to serve the public, but also in his personal commitment to his wife. In one fell swoop Sheriff Isham lost his job his wife, and most important, the trust of the public that thought enough of him to elect him to high office. (Manzano, 2009).
Former Multnomah County Sheriff Bernard (Bernie) Giusto also threw his integrity down the slippery slope in front of him, and dived in after it. Eventually, Sheriff Giusto became a mere caricature, a 'Boss Hogg' of an official. Earlier in his career as an Oregon State Trooper, Giusto was transferred from his job as then Governor Goldschmidts security/driver for not being honest about his sexual relationship with the governors wife. (Esteve, Harry, 2007.)
Later as the elected Sheriff of Multnomah County Giusto transported a girlfriend out-of-state to Seattle Washington in his county tax-payer owned vehicle. The trip took place in September of 2006. He lied about taking the out-of-state trip until the girlfriend admitted they went to Seattle and spent the night in a Seattle hotel room. This caused an ethics investigation by DPSST.
Giusto was dubbed “porno-pants” by members of his own staff for his transparent sexual transgressions, though he claims the nickname originated from “some women” he worked with, who noticed he often wore “tight jeans.” (Kennedy, T. Personal Interview, 11, September, 2012).
Sheriff Bernie Giusto badge #07617 resigned in July 2008 under extreme duress by the DPSST who threatened to decertify him as a police officer in the state of Oregon, for being “morally unfit to be a police officer” if he did not willingly resign.
I ran for Sheriff of Multnomah County in 2006 against Giusto because I also felt he was morally unfit. With very little money to campaign with, I decided to run, and though I was not successful, I still garnered over 31,000 votes; the votes of folks who also thought Giusto was an unfit caricature. “Porno pants” indeed! Sheriff Bernie Giusto tumbled downward, and sabotaged himself because he lost his integrity and his innocence. He destroyed the trust the public had once had in him and annihilated his career as a result.
Officer integrity continues to plague the Portland Police. As recently as 2012, I personally had dealings with an Officer by the name of Cherise Hobbs.
A woman who had previously been investigated by her supervisors, twice, for lying about an on-duty sexual relationship with another officer, and on another occasion lying about the amount of overtime she submitted for payment. (stealing.) Although still employed by the bureau, she long ago sacrificed her integrity by engaging in criminal deception and irresponsible behavior. She has since been dubbed “hot-pants Hobbs.” (Bernstein, 2010).
During this same incident, I also had personal dealings with one Sgt. Richard Brasket in 2012. This good Sergeant-of-police was investigated by his superiors for beating his wife and also lying about his use of prescription drugs, along with being accused of stealing and using his wife's pain medication. How can a police officer that lies about drug use ever be trusted again? He continues to be employed by the bureau. This officer took the wrong turn at the fork in the road and lost his integrity as well. He has since been dubbed, “Vicodin Dick.” (Bernstein, 2012).
For many years I have been a Medical Marijuana activist and patient. In 2011, my son and marijuana caregiver, Lee DuPay was driving alone in his vehicle, transporting four ounces of hashish, legally belonging to me. Both Lee and I were legal with the Medical Marijuana Program. I was a card holder and he was my “caregiver.”
During this incident, he was stopped by Portland police and my hashish, that he was attempting to deliver to me, was seized and placed in the police property/evidence room. About six weeks later I was able to obtain a court order releasing my medicine to my possession. When I finally received it back from the property room it weighed only three ounces.
Figuring the hashish would never have to be returned, someone with access to the property room stole one ounce of hashish from me. Was this person, who stole my hashish, likely a police officer? Did this person steal it to sell it or to use it? There was certainly no integrity there either!
What does it take to be a good police officer in today's policing? It starts and ends with honesty and integrity. If either of these professional values are lost, nothing else that an officer does matters!
Bernstein, Maxine. (2010) “Portland Council Scales Back Discipline for officer Caught Twice for Similar Misconduct.” Oregonian Newspaper.
Bernstein, Maxine. (2012) “Portland Police Sergeant Claims Fellow officers Illegally Searched his Home.”Oregonian oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/08/portland_police_sergeant_claim.html Retrieved 14, April 2013.
Esteve, Harry. (2007). “Kulongoski Denies Hearing Goldschmidt Abuse Rumors.” Oregonian. blog.oregonlive.com/oregonianextra/2008/01/previous_stories_about_bernie.html#Oct31 Retrieved 14, April 2013.
Handleman, Dan. (2008).“The Teflon Sheriff. AKA Porno-pants. (portlandcopwatch.org/PPR41/giusto41.html) (Retrieved 14, April, 2013).
Kennedy, T. (2012). Personal Interview. Portland State university.
Manzano, Phil. (2009). “Marion County Sheriff Quits over Relationship.” Oregonian Newspaper. oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/marion_county_sheriff_resigns.html Retrieved 14, April 2013.
McNamara, Robert. (2013) “Tammany Hall; New York City's Political Machine was the Home to Legendary Corruption.” (history1800s.about.com/od/thegildedage/a/tammanyhall01.htm). (Retrieved 14, April 2013).
Moore, Scott. (2008). “Police Chief Derrick Foxworth Accused of Sexual Misconduct; Former Mayor and Willamette Week Implicated in Cover-Up.” The Portland Mercury. (portlandmercury.com/portland/police-chief-derrick-foxworth-accused-of-sexual-misconduct/Content?oid=37984) (Retrieved 16, April 2013).
Stanford, Phil. (2004) Portland Confidential; Sex, Crime and Corruption in the Rose City.
Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. (oregon.gov/dpsst/Pages/index.aspx). (Retrieved 18, April 2013)
By Don DuPay
Donald Lee Dupay was a police officer for the Portland, Oregon police bureau, from 1961 to 1977. After five years service as a patrol officer Don was promoted to detective where he worked all the specialty units, morals, auto theft, checks, safe, burglary, special missions, and homicide. He was also an officer coach, instructing others on how to be productive detectives and teaching criminal investigation subjects at the police academy. Don witnessed the unintended consequences of the war on drugs that caused some of the officers in his department to become corrupt. Frustrated by that corruption he quit his job as a homicide detective and became the director of security at a major Portland hotel for several years.
Don has long thought we should legalize the so-called "consensual crimes" of drug distribution and use so we can stop killing each other over our failed drug policies. In his presentations Don offers an interesting perspective on additional unintended consequences - "collateral damage" - the countless innocent lives destroyed by drug prohibition.
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