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Police Decertification: A Remedy for Police Misconduct (From Police and Law Enforcement, P 115-130, 1987, Daniel B Kennedy and Robert J Homant, eds. -- See NCJ-112250)

NCJ Number
S Puro; R Goldman
Date Published
16 pages
The use by State agencies of decertification as a means of addressing police misconduct is examined, with emphasis on Florida's policies and their benefits and consequences.
The decertification process involves the revocation of the certificate or license of a police officer who commits certain kinds of misconduct as specified by State law or administrative regulations. Decertification offers several advantages over termination from a local agency. Thirty-one of the State agencies that are concerned with police selection and training also have the authority to decertify police officers. Twelve States authorize decertification for limited reasons. These usually include administrative error or fraud in obtaining a certificate or conviction of a felony. Nineteen States provide for broad revocation authority. In the other 19 States, the police certificate is merely a diploma indicating successful completion of training rather than continued competence to serve as a police officer. In Florida, the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission has broad authority to decertify police officers. Legislation in 1980 specifically defined this authority and made it conform to the State's Administrative Procedure Act, and resulted in substantial increases in the number of officers decertified. The Florida experience demonstrates the need to resolve questions of centralized State authority over local law enforcement agencies. Tables, notes, and 12 references.