New Hampshire PD's Recruitment Pitch Lists Qualified Immunity As A Job Perk
from the reasonable-officer-would-know-not-to-say-this-out-loud dept
Every so often law enforcement forgets to keep the mask on. The public front is all about safety and providing a line of defense against criminal chaos. Behind the front, it’s a bunch of people with the same flaws as regular humans, only with access to an incredible amount of power and an almost nonexistent amount of accountability.
When law enforcement agencies are looking to hire, they’re generally not looking for the best, most honest people. They’re looking for the kind of people who desire power and disdain personal responsibility. A recent open call for applicants on Facebook — posted by the Manchester, New Hampshire Police Department — made the mistake of being a bit too direct.
The Manchester Police Department is looking for reliable, motivated, and personable recruits for both entry level and certified positions. Located less than an hour from Boston, Manchester enjoys proximity to great schools and attractions, the beach, and the White Mountains. The department offers many opportunities to advance and additional unique benefits including qualified immunity. Click the link and apply now! There is no application fee and remote testing is now available. Come enjoy the high quality of life NH offers and work for a great department backed by community support!
“Qualified immunity” is indeed a “unique benefit.” You can’t find it in the private sector. It’s for public servants only. It is, however, a pretty effective benefit — one that provides yet another avenue for misbehaving law enforcement officers to elude the consequences of their actions.
But should agencies really be pitching qualified immunity as an employment perk? Pretty much everyone but the employee posting this to the PD’s Facebook page says no. And that (belatedly) includes the head of the Manchester PD, Chief Allen Alderberg, who posted an apology for the hiring notice less than 24 hours later.
“Earlier today Manchester Police published a recruitment post that referenced qualified immunity. This post was not the place for the mention of qualified immunity and was not appropriate. The post was removed and archived appropriately. As Chief of Police I take full responsibility for this post and the inappropriate mention of qualified immunity”.
This is a good (and appropriate) response. Hopefully the response from the chief includes more than simply manning the PR desk momentarily. If this sort of thing is being posted publicly, it would seem to indicate officers believe qualified immunity is a side benefit, rather than a litigation option they’ll hopefully never have to use.