Protect and serve (yourself)

Come on, man.

Don’t let this sergeant bring his own water bottle to sentencing.

Double-down, bob and weave and the path of most resistance.

Consider this analysis from the counsel for the nonprofit International Association of Police Chiefs:

“An apology for wrongdoing can reduce the potential for litigation and liability and also help maintain or restore public trust. Refusing to admit wrongdoing may cause greater problems than the wrongdoing itself. Most agree that public officials would be better off if they simply admitted their transgressions, apologized, and sought forgiveness. In recognition of these principles, some law enforcement agencies have developed standard operating procedures for use of apology and expressions of regret as risk management tools.”

Covering up wrongdoing and mistakes is the antithesis of admitting transgressions, apologizing and seeking forgiveness. The damage to the public trust is profound and cumulative. It infects the culture of law enforcement agencies, including prosecutors’ offices. If nothing else, these agencies can appreciate risk management if they can’t analyze their failures and commit to a course correction.

How ironic then is the twisting of the message of St. Thomas More by certain lawyers in Michigan? St. Thomas More is the patron saint of lawmakers and politicians, who during his life was a public servant committed to moral integrity. Moral. Integrity.

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