Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Paid Leave

When an officer is accused of doing something bad they are often place on leave with full pay.  Citizens then complain that the officer does something bad and gets rewarded with a paid vacation.  How do you respond to this criticism?

Officers, like everyone else are innocent until proven guilty, they have a presumption of innocence, even if the video looks bad or even if everyone "knows" they are guilty.  Since you don't want an officer facing a serious accusation to be working the streets while there is an investigation, they are placed on administrative leave.  Since there have been no proven allegations against the officer, he is placed on paid leave.  This is often the case in non-police business jobs where an employee might be placed on leave until an investigation of wrongdoing has been completed.

Once a personnel investigation has been completed, the officer will be punished or not, based on the findings of that personnel investigation, independent of any criminal proceedings.  An officer who is not guilty of any criminal matter, may be fired for failure to follow department policy, for example.  An officer who has been arrested may also be fired, or his leave may be changed to unpaid leave, depending on the outcome of the investigation or the individual agency policy.  An allegation alone should never be sufficient to get someone fired, or suspended without pay until an investigation is completed and findings or wrongdoing are reached; that's what the SGT Says.

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