News & Resources

Florida police department mandates background checks for all officers

Feb 21, 2011 Matt Roesly

As a result of a scandal that rocked its department, all police officers at the Windermere, Florida, police station must undergo a new round of background screening, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The decision comes roughly a month after the department's former police chief, Daniel Saylor, was charged with one count of unlawful compensation for official behavior and one count of official misconduct.
 The department's new chief, Mike McCoy, stated that the decision to screen all officers was a step toward resolving any skepticism the city's residents may have regarding the department's credibility. McCoy also levied a stern warning to his officers. "I told them to be very careful not to leave out or omit anything … The consequences will be severe," McCoy told the Sentinel, acknowledging that he wants all information concerning an officer's possible arrest record and personal history that may have a negative effect on their public appearance. "I made it very clear I want everything in there." It's not just enlisted officers that be subjected to background screening. The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that private citizens enrolling in the city's Citizen Police Academy will have their personal backgrounds inspected as a requirement to participate.