Is there any job where judgement is more important than being a cop?
We give them the power of deadly force - and trust them to be wise and judicious every day in every way when our paths may cross.
I have the greatest respect for good cops - and the vast majority are good. But I'm troubled by the many stories of officers who exhibit horrible judgement in their personal lives and yet keep their jobs.
A recent example is the Bellevue cops who were so stinking drunk at a Seahawks game, their screamed obscenities got them kicked out of the stadium - and then one drove home to North Bend and was blacked-out - he says he didn't remember driving.
Those officers got a slap on the wrist. It is a horrible reflection on the Bellevue P.D.
But it's not that surprising. We've had a state Supreme Court justice, members of the legislature, a school superintendent, city and county council members who have all driven drunk - and kept their jobs.
And then there's the story of the two Seattle cops who were charged Thursday with DUI.
Officers Marie Gochnour, 32 and Sean Moore, 42, were driving together on Dec. 17 when someone saw their car hit a power pole.
According to the charging papers, these cops weren't just drunk - they were stinking drunk. Gochnour registered triple the legal limit - .247 percent. Moore was double the legal limit at .161 percent.
A witness says Gochnour was driving the car - then she stopped in the middle of the street and switched places with Moore - so both have been charged with DUI.
Officer Gochnour really sounds like a sweetheart. The court documents say she cursed at the arresting officer - then, at the station, gave him the finger and twice tried to rush the arresting officer.
These two examples of Seattle's finest have been getting paid since the December incident. They've both been reassigned to desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
If they are guilty of the behavior described in the charging papers, is there any way we can trust these two to remain as police officers? If they cannot control their own lives, can we really afford to give them the power of deadly force to have some control over our lives?
For the vast majority of us, getting a DUI doesn't mean we lose our job. Should cops be treated differently?
I find it appalling that those drunken, out-of-control Bellevue cops are still on the force. I have police officer friends who share those feelings. Good cops tend to be very harsh in their attitude toward cops who exhibit bad behavior and horrible judgement.
The two Seattle cops endangered the lives of everyone with whom they shared the roads last December. One week before Christmas, they could have easily killed your spouse, your children, you.
We've been paying them for three months while they sit at a desk. If they're guilty of these charges, should it be one-strike-you're-out for police officers?