Wandering cops shuffle departments, abusing citizens

State News

FILE – In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 file photo, police hold their clubs as they form a line in front of supporters of President Donald Trump on Election Day in Beverly Hills, Calif. Red states such as Florida and Georgia lead the way in decertifying officers with past problems, while there is no decertification in two of the bluest and biggest in the country – California and New Jersey. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — One of the biggest roadblocks to police accountability is so-called “wandering cops” who lose their jobs in one place only to be rehired in another.

Most states keep the names of disciplined officers secret and the vast majority of departments do not fully investigate the background of an officer they are hiring.

Police chiefs, who have found it difficult to rid their departments of problem officers, generally support stronger laws.

Police unions oppose them, arguing that past allegations – many of them denied – shouldn’t follow officers through their careers.

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