ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The law enforcement careers of 16 now-former Arlington police officers are over.
All of the officers were facing criminal charges related to falsely reporting traffic stops. Eleven of them previously accepted plea deals that included surrendering their peace officers licenses in exchange for having the charges dropped.
Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Samantha Jordan said the other five followed suit. “Five of the officers elected to go to the Grand Jury, after that they came back to prosecutors and offered to take the original plea offer to surrender their peace officer licenses.”
Jordan said the decision the deal effectively ends the law enforcement careers of the officers. She said, “The public trust is no longer with you and that is why we felt it was very important that the officers could no longer be trusted to serve the public as peace officers.”
After news of the deal was made public the Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association issued the following statement:
“The AMPA is disappointed with the outcome, in that we wish the officers could have continued the fight, but we understand the risk and they must do what is best for their families.
These officers worked in every part of the city, on different shifts. Their years of service ranges from 4 to 20 years. Some have never met the others. The mayor, city manager, and city council members need to ask themselves what systemic factor would lead so many officers to do the same thing.”
With their peace officers licenses forfeited, none of the 16 officers will be able to serve as police officers anywhere in the state of Texas — ever again.
Fort Worth attorney Randall Moore represented three of the officers. “They are obviously devastated,” he said.
More also said he was surprised by the number of counts returned on the indictments and that he believes the case speaks to much bigger issue. “By criminally indicting this many officers for this many counts then you should look up the chain of command and see how high it goes and hold them accountable for other acts that are illegal.”
Moore believes there’s a reason why officers write so many traffic citations and therein lies the problem. He said, “Quota systems are illegal and if, in fact, it exists then the same standards that are applied to the police officers who lost their careers should apply to the chain of command — if they were involved in it.”