John Rappaport on His "Wandering Officer" Research

‘Wandering’ Cops Pose Risk to Communities: Study

A police officer who was previously fired for misconduct or quit under threat of being terminated is more likely to be fired again for the same reason if he or she finds another job in policing, according to a groundbreaking research study published in Yale Law Journal.

The so-called “wandering officer,” also known in some policing circles as a “gypsy cop”—although representing a relatively small percentage of overall hires by police departments—poses a risk to communities that needs more attention from federal and state policymakers, the study said.

“Even when well-intentioned—as a second chance for a hardworking cop—hiring a wandering officer is risky business,” wrote the study co-authors, Ben Grunwald of the Duke University School of Law, and John Rappaport of the University of Chicago Law School.

“Wandering officers…are fired and subjected to moral-character complaints more often than other officers [and] notably, they are riskier, by our measures, than even officers hired as rookies.”

Read more at The Crime Report