Philly cop suspended with intent to dismiss still could retain job

Another Philadelphia police officer is on the way to being dismissed because of credibility issues.

The department doesn’t always win the cases once they go before an arbitrator.

Andre Boyer, a 17-year police veteran, has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss following charges of intention to deceive, failing to follow department procedures for handling evidence and conduct unbecoming an officer.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Boyer had been the subject of 21 civilian complaints — more than any other officer on the force.

Bradley Bridge with the Defender Association of Philadelphia says the suspension is no surprise to him.

“I think … there is a lack of appropriate oversight by all parties as to what’s going on with police officers and the police department,” Bridge said.

Even though the city’s district attorney has opted not to seek criminal charges against him, Boyer still faces dismissal.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey acknowledges that not every police officer who is dismissed stays fired once the case goes to arbitration.

“I know the union claims a very high percentage, that’s not accurate either,” Ramsey said. “We’ve had months where only 30 percent of the cases we’ve lost; we’ve had other months where we’ve lost 70 percent. It depends on the case, it depends on a lot of different factors.”

Bridge believes some officers might be making arrests since they can earn overtime for the hours spent testifying in court.

“Police officers are paid a salary and when they have to go to court on their days off, they are paid overtime to do so,” Bridge said. “One motivation in the past has been officers have told me things have been fabricated so they had, additional arrests and therefore additional overtime so they made additional salary.”

Ramsey said he will continue to take disciplinary action, even if it’s overturned in arbitration.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.