A day after the Folly City Council permanently banned alcohol from its beachfront, Fitsnews.com unearthed quite the interesting tidbit from the Edge of America. They were able to get their hands on an internal e-mail sent by Director of Public Safety Dennis Brown to (it appears) the entire Folly Beach police force regarding an incentive program.
The e-mail is dated July 23rd and says:
"Everyone, I am going to provide an unmarked cruiser to the officer who charges the most DUI offenses from now until September 1st. We will do this every year for the officer who arrest the most DUIs. If you do not want the unmarked Crown Vic then the second place person will receive the car."
Fitsnews.com does a great job of breaking down the implications of this incentive program and I highly encourage you to read their article. You can read my thoughts below, but it will echo some of what you can see over there.
At first glance this appeared to be pretty unethical, but after realizing the officer isn't going to keep this car for good or use it for non work-related activities, I backed down a little. Despite this revelation, the whole thing still felt kind of shady.
Police should be compensated appropriately, but incentives should never come into play. Giving away a prize for the most arrests invites (at best) criticism and skepticism from the public or (at worst) unscrupulous behavior.
I don't envision loads of innocent people being thrown in jail, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a little unnecessary questioning or pull-overs.
It seems someone in the police department had this same fear, which would explain why the e-mail was leaked in the first place. It looks like someone is fearful of corrupt behavior resulting from this contest.
Maybe this is part of the problem Folly Beach had leading up to the July 4th beach brawl; the police need a prize dangling in front of them to crack down on crime.