News Bite

Former Ann Arbor Chief Speaks Out On Police Unions

They exploit a process 'staggeringly favorable to bad cops'

Current and former police chiefs around the country are speaking up about how hard police unions make it to dismiss bad officers.

Daniel Oates, a former police chief at the city of Ann Arbor, wrote a June 12 op-ed in the Washington Post explaining the obstacles of getting bad police officers off the force.

Oates mentioned the appeal process being "staggeringly favorable to bad cops."

"The case goes either to an arbitrator or to a panel, a 'civil service commission' appointed by the city council," Oates wrote. "The arguments are always the same: The chief’s investigation was shoddy; the chief had a vendetta against this particular cop; other cops did this before and weren’t fired; the alleged misconduct wasn’t really that bad. Too often, arbitrators feel the pressure to 'split the baby' in their decisions. Perhaps the cop is docked pay or demoted; otherwise, he’s back on patrol."

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.