Broward County, FL — A sizeable chunk of the Free Thought Project archives is devoted solely to a single department in Florida. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is notorious for its rapists, child molesting stalkers, sadistic dog siccing torturers, and woman battering deputies. Many of these cops are never fired, and, even if they are, they are likely all given paid vacations first — some of them for months, or longer.
Deputy Gerald “Gerry” Wengert, the sadistic cop who forced his K-9 to tear into a teenager for suspicion of spray painting a train car, is one of those cops who was given an extended paid vacation.
According to a report in the Broward New Times, for the past 440 days, Wengert has been on paid leave. Since his annual salary is $72,735.22 a year, he’s cost taxpayers $87,680.81 so far for not showing up to work.
All too often, when cops beat, rape, kill, or otherwise commit atrocious crimes against others, they have a unique ability, not granted to anyone outside of government. They get paid for being bad.
As the New Times reports, Wengert is one of nine BSO deputies who are currently on paid leave while being investigated. The list also includes Peter Peraza, who fatally shot Jermaine McBean in 2013 and is currently being sued by McBean’s family. He has now been on paid leave for 257 days, earning a total of $51,213.57 in that time.
The New Times did the math and found that cops accused of criminal behavior are costing local taxpayers $1,720.47 every single day.
After they beat, maim, rape, or steal, bad cops get rewarded with indefinite paid vacations, all at the expense of taxpayers
Do not mistake this objection to paid vacation for bad cops as a call to remove due process. Everyone, including cops caught on video beating women, deserves their day in court. However, they don’t deserve to keep drawing a paycheck for a job they are no longer doing while being investigated.
Former Boca Raton deputy police chief, Philip Sweeting, in an interview with the New Times has a far better solution. Don’t pay them.
“You should put individuals who are being investigated on leave with no pay, because if they’re found innocent, you can pay them back,” he says. “They can recover that money down the road. If you put them on paid leave, and they’re found guilty, well, you just paid their salary.”
Sweeting then goes on to counter the next obvious point. Yes, not paying a cop during an investigation of misconduct can place them under financial strain. However, Sweeting points out, “If you’ve got a video that shows [an officer] beat the snot out of some guy, what’s the point of giving him six months pay?”
However, this is exactly what happens.
As we previously reported, Audra West is a hairdresser from Texas who was on vacation in Fort Lauderdale, when she was arrested and assaulted by police. West had a few too many drinks and was arrested for disorderly conduct. During her stay in the Broward Sheriff’s Jail in Pompano Beach, she was brutally beaten by Deputy Kristen Connelly.
When West asked one of the deputies on staff if she could have a tampon, Deputy Connelly laughed at her and told her no. Frustrated, West cursed under her breath at Connelly, so Connelly stood up, grabbed a pair of rubber gloves and began walking toward her future victim.
As she walked over to assault West, Connelly’s coworker attempts to calm her down, but Connelly was apparently out for blood and went around him.
She grabbed West by her hair, entirely unprovoked and began hitting her, and throwing her to the ground. West was then pulled into another room, off camera, and assaulted by multiple guards who joined in on the attack.
This entire attack was captured on video. However, Connelly, who is facing criminal charges for this apparent violation of rights, has been on paid vacation for 164 days — costing taxpayers $30,076.
Broward Sheriff’s Office is one department of thousands that employ the same tactics of paid vacation for bad cops. Across the country, problem officers on paid vacations are likely costing taxpayers tens of thousands a day, if not more, and there is no sign of this insane practice being reined in.
“You’re giving them a free vacation at the taxpayer’s expense,” Sweeting told the New Times — and he’s right.
To see the full extent of what cops can get away with only to be given a paid vacation, visit this link.