Law Enforcement Moral Violations Can Lead to Possible Revoked Certification

Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 17:52:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- When a law enforcement officer loses their job, it has the potential to reach further than just temporary unemployment. There can be longer lasting consequences that can affect a law enforcement officer's chance to work at a different agency.


Local agencies have a process they follow when dealing with cases of officer discipline. Normally, an employee agency such as a police department or public safety office, will bring their internal affairs investigation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement staff to look over. Staff on the Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission then look into the case to see if an officer has committed a "Moral Character Violation". According to the FDLE, any felony offense by an officer is deemed a moral character violation.

"If it is determined that that particular officer has violated one of the moral character guidelines, then that officer is scheduled for a probable cause hearing", said FDLE Public Information officer Samantha Andrews. During the hearing, members of the commission review the case to see if there indeed was probable cause, to which they can then proceed against that law enforcement officer's certification.

"Each case is different, each case is viewed in its entirety, but the commission has authority to issue sanctions against an officer's certification", said Andrews. "Anything ranging to probation, suspension, all the way up to revocation of that officer's law enforcement certification." With the wide variety of consequences possible with moral character violations, until results are released, no exact punishment by the Commission is an automatic guarantee.