When Cops Go Bad

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(Facebook.com/Massachusetts State Police)

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Thirty years ago, as a reporter for the old Boston Phoenix, I got a tip that the State Police troop at Logan Airport was trying to undermine the authority of the civilian Massport managers of the airport, even as they aggressively shirked their own duties.

How arrogant were these cops?

I reported on a surprise federal inspection of security at the airport that found on-duty members of the troop watching “Three Stooges” reruns in their barracks when they were supposed to be patrolling.

When the story dropped, a statie friend of mine called and told me to be extra careful when driving around over the next few days.

“I just heard a call on the radio to be on the lookout for that long-haired commie pinko from the Phoenix,” he said.

The vast majority of state police were not jerks like those guys back then, and they aren’t now. They’re honest men and women who take risks and make sacrifices to keep us safe.

But the past couple of years of news about alleged and confessed criminal activity by Massachusetts state police reflects a sorry me-first culture that was a stain on the agency in 1989 and still is today.

Eight members of the troop responsible for policing the Mass Turnpike have been convicted of embezzlement, collecting pay for phony overtime and writing fake tickets; several dozen others still face charges.

And now the former head of the state police union and their lobbyist have been charged with ripping off union members and obstructing justice.

The new head of the union says he’s “appalled,” and so are the rest of us.

Because when our most important public servants turn out to be crooks, we’re all in big trouble.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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