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Greenville Officer Sentenced

After an arranged guilty plea was entered for three felony counts of evidence tampering, a Greenville, N.C. police detective has been sentenced to 6 to 17 months on each count. The sentence was subsequently suspended, and Rose Edmonds, who worked in narcotics, will have to serve 120 hours of community service and three months of house arrest.

Edmonds is no longer employed with the Greenville police. She was charged with mishandling money that came in during narcotics investigations. If she violates the terms of the suspended sentence, she will have to serve the original time, amounting to more than a year in jail.

With the extreme amounts of money that flow through police hands during narcotics investigations and seizures, it has to be tempting for officers to cross the line. Policies in place call for cash to be handled under the observation of more than one officer, making theft less likely. However, there are often times when officers may be unsupervised with cash – for example during the chaos of an arrest or when searching a drug location.

More than the sentence, the ex-detective now has to face the loss of her job and reputation. In the law enforcement community, gross dishonesty is viewed rather harshly, and felony convictions will likely keep Edmonds probably won’t be able to work in the profession any more.

It’s a myth that police officers are somehow immune from the temptations we all face when dealing with opportunities to feather our nest. Trust is granted to them, but it’s the same trust a bank manager gets, or a lawyer. What we rely on is a sense of professional ethics, but, like anyone else, mistakes can be made. In hindsight, everyone who makes such a mistake regrets it. The difference here is that the public feels a real loss of trust, not just against an individual, but law enforcement in general – the vast majority of whom are honest.

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