In the minute city of Sansom Park, just outside Fort Worth, the city’s police chief and three other recently resigned officers have had a litany of charges leveled against them by their co-workers on the force, according to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram report.
With a geographic area of just 1.2 square miles, the city employed a total of 11 officers until four abruptly resigned after a letter by five “loyal officers” was sent to the city council in September.
Probably the most disturbing allegation was made against former Sgt. Thomas Milner, who was accused of repeatedly giving known pedophiles the home address of a teenage assault victim as part of a sex sting operation despite being order not to do so. The city’s administrator conceded that no one from the city ordered police to stop the sex sting operations but did complain about “bringing pedophiles into the city.” Milner was also accused of passing around photos of a rape victim, flashing photos of naked juveniles, some of whom were performing sexual acts, and not reading suspects their Miranda rights. In addition to denying other claims, his attorney said that Milner was never ordered to stop the pedophile investigations and that he only gave the address of a vacant house.
Approximately 60 complaints of misconduct were leveled against the department. While former Police Chief Tony White’s performance review as of March of this year gave him good and excellent ratings, about a third of those complaints were made against him. Those include providing insufficient or inoperable equipment to patrol officers, buying breakfast with confiscated money, and permitting the use of racial and sexual slurs during staff meetings.
Some of the allegations the Star-Telegram reported against resigned officer Josh Smith were “padding his time sheets with added overtime and not responding to call” for backup. Former officer Andrew Young was accused of responding to shootings in Fort Worth and eating lunch outside the city limits.
The city’s attorney, Lee Thomas, said an investigation into the matter was dropped because they received the letters of resignation from all four officers, so we will likely never know the merits (or demerits) of these allegations. He is quoted by the Star-Telegram as saying, “It was in the best interest of the city and the officers to go their own way.”
On that point, Thomas is probably right. It probably is in the best interest of the city government for this just to blow over. They have little interest to investigate why a city with a population of just over 4000 people, as of 2000, would need 11 police officers. What isn’t so clear is that the interest of the government of Sansom Park and interest of the residents of Sansom Park are one in the same.
The four unemployed officers are free to depart their separate ways to wiggle into another police department. Even if these allegations are completely baseless, this sends a message to other officers in Sansom Park that they are pretty much untouchable and can do as they please. They can be accused of some pretty sick stuff and just walk away, just move to another from city and learn what to do so as not to get caught in the future.
Accountability is a lost concept for those in a position of authority such as government. The ballot box, it seems, is more a means of making rulership among their nearly identical representatives seem more palatable for the average subject. The nature of the practice of collectivism brings with it the perverse incentives that the interest of the collective, which is really just the interest of the those in charge of the collective, must be put first. Like F.A. Hayek warns, there can be no limit in collectivism to what individuals who comprise the collective must be prepared to do, no conscientious limit to prevent individuals from committing an act that superiors have commanded. The ones who thrive in that atmosphere are the most deprived, the most ruthless. The willingness to perform those evil deeds provides a way to power that is not available in the (free) marketplace. The anointing of leaders thus becomes a question of willingness rather than wisdom.