“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” George Washington
So often we have taken advantage of the realization that police officers, that have authority, are there to help us. As government servants to the people, there has come a time when we are faced with the reality that these servants are like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
We find another Ohio Officer, Todd L. Smith, being charged with crimes in provoking underage girls in sexual acts. Officer Todd Smith, assigned to Centennial High School in Columbus, is facing charges by the FBI. We have found that he was charged “in federal court with a single count of coercion and enticement of another minor that alleges he tried to have sex with a 15-year-old girl” (Gray, 2012). However, as I further investigated this story, and found that this isn’t the only charge against this officer. Besides the first charge, there are two more with punishments that could be up to 40 years in prison. “The coercion and enticement charge is punishable by at least 10 years in prison. The two charges related to the other girl are each punishable by at least 15 years in prison.” (Gray, 2012). Instead of one young lady, there are now two young ladies who have been violated by a 49 year old man, with authority as a law enforcement officer, within their school.
Todd L. Smith sent sexual explicit texting messages to these two 15 year old girls, as well as having one of them sending him nude photos of herself. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also tried to have sex with one of the young ladies, in his office, but was unable to perform. What is further frightening is “Smith told her he had a sex addiction, and he tried to persuade her to have sex with him. He also threatened her, she said, and warned her not to tell anyone of the relationship” (Manning, 2012).
As we know, all schools are under State and Federal rule, because of the Department of Education under State and Federal rule, which produces the guidelines we see within the school system. This is why we are seeing officers in our schools, with the reasoning of possible threats of school shootings, drugs, as well as other illegal activities in the school system. The government uses these scare tactics to introduce officers in schools, as well as metal detectors, and unreasonable random searches of lockers within our school system. However, we are finding more teachers having sexual misconduct in our schools, and now officers committing the same crimes, rather than an outbreak of school shootings, and other scare tactics that are used to violate rights of the citizen.
According to Allison Manning, of the Columbus dispatch, in 1992 Officer Todd L. Smith was under investigation for sexually explicit suggestions to two women. “Smith had made sexually suggestive comments to two women while working special-duty security at a S. Hamilton Road theater. He was accused of sexual harassment and unbecoming conduct. He was suspended for 30 days and ordered to seek psychological counseling” (Manning, 2012).
Let’s take a look in the history of Todd L. Smith, and see if there was an ongoing problem with this Officer. Todd L. Smith was hired as an officer in 1986, and during his time as an officer, there have been numerous complaints about this man and his behavior. “It says that Columbus had received complaints about inappropriate conduct or sexual harassment by Smith before he was assigned as a school-resource officer at Centennial, ‘where he has little or no supervision by his superiors in connection with his day-to-day job duties.’” During this time, we also found the 1992 incident that he was investigated for sexual harassment. Then, in the spring of 2012 we have the incident with the two 15 year old girls. The department didn’t make any effort to protect “women/young ladies” from this sexual predator. Now we have a history of misconduct, and I’m sure it was revealed that he was a sexual addict, as he told the young ladies, and was allowed to return to unsupervised duty despite the numerous complaints.
As with all cases involving officers, who believe they can rise above the law, I feel that this officer’s conduct was not given the appropriate attention it deserved. With all law enforcement, as they govern and oversee themselves, we are finding that not much is done to protect the citizens against the officers who are threat to society. This officer, should have been fired a long time ago, however, the department felt that there wasn’t enough to warrant his removal. Now, two teenage girls have been violated by an officer who was in their school for protection. The psychological damage to these young ladies will far outweigh his sentence if he is convicted.
Gray, K. L. (2012, August 18). School officer faces more sex charges. Retrieved from http://www.norwalkreflector.com/content/school-officer-faces-more-sex-charges
Manning, A. (2012, August 15). Mom suing city over sexting case involving officer, student. Retrieved from http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/08/15/mom-suing-city-over-sexting-case.html