Thursday, November 21, 2019


Contrary to the belief amongst society it is actually pretty hard to get outright fired in Law enforcement, it is a pretty durable position that can take a few licks before having to let someone go. Now there are some obvious actions that are pretty much automatically going to result in someone being fired. 

The biggest one and unfortunately also the action that most fall victim to is lying. In close second is breaking the departmental policy concerning integrity, and bringing unwanted attention to the agency. There are many more obviously, but these are two big ones in my opinion. 

Law enforcement agencies normally have an internal group of individuals selected to oversee any and all internal investigations concerning incidents where the agency could be found liable due to the wrong doing of those involved in an incident. 

This group is most commonly known as Internal Affairs (IA) and consist of a small group of fact finders that don’t care about anything but determining the truth. This group answers directly to the Chief/Sheriff or whoever is overseeing the agency. I said, “Whoever is overseeing the agency” because IA is also the only entity internally within Law enforcement agencies that can investigate the Chief/Sheriff for any wrong doing. Their job is to protect the agency, plain and simple. 

Officers commonly believe IA’s job is to fire other Officers, this is not the case at all. In fact, they don’t make any recommendations when it comes to disciplinary actions at all, they simply submit their findings, and the command staff takes it from there. 

Unfortunately, I have witnessed officers get fired because they went into Internal Affairs inquiries and lied about what happened during an incident or their part in a situation. Fun fact about IA, if they are questioning someone about something 9 times out of 10 they already know the truth and are only validating it to determine if that someone is being truthful or not. Most offenses can be forgiven with some sort of disciplinary action, however if determined to be lying the agency can no longer trust you so it is an automatic firing.

In the cases where departmental policy has been violated it depends on the severity of the violation that determines the outcome. If IA determines an Officer violated a policy, but did so while acting in good faith on the behalf of the agency the command staff may overlook the violation. However, if the action that violates the departmental policy brings shame or serious doubt for the public to trust the agency moving forward command staff may fire the Officer to save the agency. It’s never personal, however somethings can’t be forgiven. If the violation isn’t that bad, the Officer will be disciplined and then serve a probation period afterward to make sure compliance is corrected moving forward. 

The public trust is most important when it comes to these types of incidents where you see Officers getting fired based off a violation of policy. 

Law enforcement is a wonderful career, however it is one that demands a level of discipline, integrity, and pride in representation. Internal Affairs aren’t the bad guys, they just want to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and if not to correct the behavior moving forward within the agency. Officers deal with a lot of different situations and sometimes make mistakes, it is okay as long as that Officer is acting in good faith with the agency in mind, and is honest if asked about it by IA. 

I have been involved in plenty of IA inquires, have never told a lie, and am still going strong! 

Truth…or Fired?!