Backlash grows against scapegoating police chiefs

It is an easy thing for mayors to do today, but firing their police chiefs for a bad arrest, assault, or death by a street police officer isn’t as popular as they might think.

The National Sheriffs’ Association provided polling to Secrets that said 64% of respondents believe chiefs should be given time to address problems and fix their departments, not just dumped when the politics get hot.

That has happened several times since the death of George Floyd, who died while in Minneapolis police custody, and the sheriffs are suggesting that scapegoating the chiefs is wrong. Their survey found support for a “mandatory minimum appointment period” to protect police chiefs.

“Law enforcement leaders can’t be constantly bent to the political winds of the moment. Leadership in law enforcement can take years to get real improvements in their communities, and they don’t have all the answers,” said Jonathan Thompson, the executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association.