A Massachusetts police department is in trouble for giving preference to job candidates who said they wouldn't arrest friends or colleagues for drunk driving. During the interview process, candidates were asked how they'd handle a situation in which a driver in a crash appeared to be intoxicated. They were then asked how they'd handle the same situation if the driver was a friend or co-worker. Candidates who said they'd go easier on the friend or co-worker were rated higher for "discretion," the Boston Globe reports.
Massachusetts' Civil Service Commission wasn't buying it. In a July 9 decision, chairman Christopher C. Bowman wrote, "There is simply no valid basis to award the highest points to candidates who express a willingness to apply one set of rules to strangers and another set of rules to friends and family members." In other words, everyone should be treated equally under the law.
But according to Police Lieutenant Michael Pappalardo's twisted logic, potential officers were more honest if they said they'd show greater leniency to those close to them. One candidate, who said he'd arrest his own mother and father if he caught them driving drunk, was dismissed for his "lack of discretion."
Unfortunately, it's not unusual for police departments to protect their own. In recent years, several other Massachusetts police departments have come under scrutiny for showing "professional courtesy" (i.e. not arresting) officers who drive drunk.