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.

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Filed Under: accountability, job perk, new hampshire, police, qualified immunity


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2021 @ 2:14pm

    'We deeply apologize for our temporary honesty.'

    “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”.

    Yeah, that's not much better honestly as all he really seems to be saying is that it shouldn't have been openly mentioned as a perk, not that QI is at all problematic itself(which it absolutely is). You do not openly advertise QI as a job perk unless that idea is widely accepted at the department in question, which doesn't exactly speak well for that department and the 'community support' it claims to enjoy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 14 Aug 2021 @ 9:13am

      Re: 'We deeply apologize for our temporary honesty.'

      Still, at least they were embarrassed about it. That's something - people are only embarrassed about their behavior when they know something is morally wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 14 Aug 2021 @ 12:54pm

        'I'm sorry you were offended' is not 'I'm sorry for what I did'

        Were they though? Because as I see it a department that's so corrupt as to consider 'you can't be sued for your own actions' as a noteworthy job perk to the point of boasting about it in their attempt to recruit people is unlikely to be embarrassed about anything in that situation but the fact that they got caught being honest for once, and even that's assuming they weren't just going through the motions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2021 @ 4:09pm

    Yeah! It should only be mentioned in more private venues, like the cop shop. The most public it should ever get it in court. Geez Louise!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 13 Aug 2021 @ 4:59pm

    Officer perkins! You said the quiet thing loud so you got to be punished. We'll increase your quota by 20%, AND you get the crappy bodycamera with the faulty battery. Don't do it again!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 13 Aug 2021 @ 5:39pm

    like we needed more proof.

    Just proves that the badge protects a whole lot of shady.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Aug 2021 @ 6:14pm

    Shittiest timeline...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 13 Aug 2021 @ 7:09pm

    "You get to kill or beat people without consequence!"

    Qualified immunity as a job perk implies premeditation to commit litigation-worthy offenses while being immune to law suit.

    He's offering the ability to commit crime without consequence as a perk for being an officer.

    If this isn't an indictment of the police department as an institution of corrupt intent, I don't know what would be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paramuse, 14 Aug 2021 @ 8:13am

    same flaws as regular humans

    " 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. " []

    Above is actually an insightful description of "government" generally.
    (not just the police sub-sector of government)

    The abstraction we reverently call "government" is just a bunch of ordinary flawed humans... with a lot of real, loosely controlled arbitrary power over us.

    When you urge government to do something, provide a service, or solve some problem -- you are really asking a special group of powerful, protected people to do your bidding.
    They often prefer to pursue their goals and self interest, at your expense.

    Cops, legislators, governors, judges, regulators, DMV personnel, military, social workers, dog catchers, etc -- all somehow have special privileges denied to ordinary citizens.

    American democracy seems to have some serious shortcomings or we wouldn't see the constant stream of police abuses documented here.
    (and we all know how stunningly wise, efficient, honest, just, and productive our other government supervisors {Conressmen/Biden/Trump/Cuomo/etc} are)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 14 Aug 2021 @ 9:15am

      Re: same flaws as regular humans

      I wish more people understood that.

      If it's morally wrong for you to do it, it's morally wrong for the government to do it. Making it legal doesn't change morality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 16 Aug 2021 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: same flaws as regular humans

        If it's morally wrong for you to do it, it's morally wrong for the government to do it.

        That would make at least large portions of the departments of defense, homeland security, and justice immoral. Is that what you were going for?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Aug 2021 @ 10:39am

          large portions of the DOD, DHS and Justice system are immoral

          Um. Yes. This is terribly easy to confirm.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 16 Aug 2021 @ 11:28am

            Re: large portions of the DOD, DHS and Justice system are immora

            This is terribly easy to confirm.

            To be clear, I don't mean immoral as currently operated. By OldMugwump's definition, it would be immoral to even have a military, police force, prisons, or a court system. Because a private citizen could not morally carry out any of those functions.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ceyarrecks (profile), 14 Aug 2021 @ 8:23am

    no Surprise; nothing New.

    the painfully obvious FACT displayed by that PD is not new; 1,000s of years ago a similar sentiment was penned.~~

    Rather like unrefined Iron WILL rust in presence of water; the longer the exposure,... the more rust. Until something[hot forge, anvil, & hammer anyone?] is done to the iron which would limit/prevent said oxidation/corruption.

    and what?! is the typical response: "but they might WHIIIIIIiiiiiiinnnNNNE! so,.. do NOTHING that might make them whine!!!" in fact, hire a Professional Momi (Unions) to prevent the poor, innocent, defenseless, little children from whining,...

    sound familiar?

    ~~reference
    When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. (Ecclesiastes 8:11 NIV)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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