Associated Press Shines a Light on Law-Enforcement Sex Crimes

Next time your local law enforcement agency touts something like a Halloween sex-offender patrol, you better hide your kids from those cops.

A year-long Associated Press investigation finds that you are at risk of sexual assault from law enforcement itself.

A key excerpt:

In a yearlong investigation of sexual misconduct by U.S. law enforcement, The Associated Press uncovered about 1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assault; sex crimes that included possession of child pornography; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens or having consensual but prohibited on-duty intercourse.

The number is unquestionably an undercount because it represents only those officers whose licenses to work in law enforcement were revoked, and not all states take such action. California and New York – with several of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies – offered no records because they have no statewide system to decertify officers for misconduct. And even among states that provided records, some reported no officers removed for sexual misdeeds even though cases were identified via news stories or court records. 

“It’s happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida, who helped study the problem for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “It’s so underreported and people are scared that if they call and complain about a police officer, they think every other police officer is going to be then out to get them.”

Here are links to The AP’s reporting on law enforcement sex crimes across the U.S.:

Hundreds of Officers Lose Licenses Over Sex Misconduct

 A Look at Some Recent Cases of Sex Crimes Involving Officers

AP Investigation of Law-Enforcement Sex Crimes by The Numbers

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