Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is upset that about 90 percent of police officers he fired for alleged wrongdoing have found their way back onto the force.
“It’s very hard to maintain discipline in a police department especially when at every turn you have cases that wind up getting overturned, people brought back, and in many cases for some very, very serious allegations,” Ramsey told Harry Hairston and the NBC10 Investigators.
Among those allegations have been shoplifting, stealing and even sexual misconduct, Ramsey said.
"There are some cases where, in my opinion, a person has really lost their right to be a police officer, to enforce laws, because they themselves have broken laws," Ramsey said.
Through arbitration about nine of every 10 officers Ramsey has let go have found their way back onto the force, the Fraternal Order of Police told Hairston. And, about 75 of reinstated officers also get their full benefits and full back pay, according to the FOP.
Ramsey isn’t amused.
“I would say that that’s nothing that they should be proud of because many of the people they bring back are people that should be fired and should stay fired," Ramsey said.
Former Police Lt. Jonathan Josey was fired by Ramsey after video surfaced that apparently shows Josey hitting a woman in the face. But, a judge acquitted Josey of simple assault so the former lieutenant says he will fight to get his job back.
Ramsey doesn’t want that to happen.
"I'll do all I can to see to it that he remains off the force."
But, there is another side to the argument as pointed out by Josey's criminal attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., who does not represent officers in arbitration. He says he believes the arbitration system is fair and helps get cops who didn’t commit crimes their jobs back.
"When allegations are made which give rise to an arrest, the officer (is) immediately fired. So there needs to be some mechanism to get these guys back on if they deserve to be reinstated," Perri said.
There is no word on when, or if, Josey will receive an arbitration hearing.