The Thin Blue Line Exposed?
Edgewater Police Department - Ofc. Charles Geiger's Misconduct
May 28, 2014
"Police throughout the United States have been caught fabricating, planting, and manipulating evidence to obtain convictions where cases would otherwise be very weak. Some authorities regard police perjury as so rampant that it can be considered a "subcultural norm rather than an individual aberration" of police officers."
Florida Law Enforcement Officers' Moral Character Standards
In truth, Florida law enforcement officers are answerable to more than just their departmental policies. Like each and every citizen in this state, they too MUST comply with Florida State law. Further, they must maintain a code of conduct that is defined by the Criminal Justice and Training Commission (CJSTC) as codified in .
is a branch of the . FAC11B-27.0011 is commonly known as the Florida Law Enforcement Officers' Moral Character Standards.
When a law enforcement or correctional agency has sustained, via an internal investigation, that one of their officers has violated either criminal statutes or the mandates of FAC 11B-27.0011 - these violations MUST be reported to the CJSTC for possible disciplinary action being applied to the officer's law enforcement certification.
Many Police Administrators Circumvent The CJSTC Reporting Requirements
Remember ONLY violations of FAC11B-27 and Florida Criminal Statutes are mandated to be reported to the CJSTC. The reporting form to the CJSTC is the . Upon your review of the CJSTC 78 - you will notice that on the first page of the form - under section eleven (11) - it must be indicated whether the sustained misconduct was a violation of F.S. 943.13(4) / (7) / FAC 11B-27.0011 OR merely a law enforcement agency internal policy violation.
Now we invite you to read page two of the CJSTC 78 form - the instruction page. In the first column, about halfway down, you will read an advisement that if the misconduct was merely a violation of the agency's own internal policies - that the form does NOT need to be forwarded to the CJSTC.
Without the CJSTC 78 form being forwarded to the CJSTC, indicating a moral character violation (FAC11B-27) - there will be no additional action taken against the subject officer's law enforcement certification.
In our opinion, this failure to properly report police misconduct is why many rogue police officers still patrol our streets. This problem was discussed in detail during a Sarasota-Herald Tribune expose` on police corruption. (see bottom of this web page)
Here is a by the Edgewater Police Department (EPD). EPD ONLY sustained violations of agency policies - therefore a copy of the CJSTC 78 was not mandated to be sent to the CJSTC for further review / action.
In EPD's defense - they did obviously suspect that Ofc. Geiger's actions were criminal violations of the law. This can be seen by the fact that they requested the State Attorney's office review the allegations. However, in a , the State Attorney's office opted not to pursue the matter.
“To pursue justice, without fear, favor, reward or the promise thereof”
The Motto From The State Attorney's Website -
The Substantiated Facts
-Whether Criminally Charged Or Not-
So while the EPD might have only defined Ofc. Geiger's misconduct as mere agency policy violations - we suspect that they knew the misconduct was actually more atuned to criminal and moral character violations. Why else have the State Attorney's office review the investigative report?
And if the EPD gained any type of comfort in the fact that the State Attorney's office opted not to pursue the matter - we suspect that their comfort was a false comfort.
VolusiaExposed invites our readers to read page 2 - section 3 of a - apparently CJSTC must be advised if the "substantiated facts constitute a felony or enumerated misdemeanor offense, whether criminally charged or NOT
Well, there you have it - now it's up to you to decide whether EPD acted appropriately in the investigation and handling of misconduct allegations against one of their officers.
Based on the EPD Internal Affairs report, and the totality of the evidence against Ofc. Geiger, we will be adding him to our .
Click Below Image To View Entire DBNJ Article
Chief Dave Arcieri Responds To VolusiaExposed
In fairness to the Edgewater PD, VolusiaExposed.Com sent Chief Arcieri containing a web link to our unpublished article. We requested that he review the article, and send us any clarifications or comments, he felt were appropriate.
In his response, (see email) - he assured VolusiaExposed that he indeed advised the CJSTC of the Ofc. Geiger investigation by sending them copies of the CJSTC 78 form and the EPD investigative report.
What does this mean - absolutely NOTHING (our opinion).
As noted within the , it clearly states NOT to forward the form to the CJSTC, if the sustained misconduct was merely an agency policy violation(s). VolusiaExposed suspects that Chief Arcieri is keenly aware, that absent his agency sustaining a violation of FAC11B-27 (Moral Character violation), that CJSTC will not open a disciplinary case against Officer Geiger.
Since, ONLY supports a sustained agency policy violation, and NOT any sustained F.S. 943.13 or FAC 11B-27.0011 violations, we can only imagine CJSTC staff scratching their heads, wondering why Chief Arcieri sent them the CJSTC 78 form.
We suspect that Chief Arcieri sent the CJSTC 78 form to the CJSTC in an attempt to gain some political cover - (Our opinion). A "have your cake and eat it too" tactic - being able to say he reported it to CJSTC - at the same time realizing, that absent a sustained violation of FAC11B-27 (moral character violation), the CJSTC is powerless to proceed with opening a disciplinary case against the officer.
Then again, maybe Chief Arcieri actually defines Ofc. Geiger's sustained misconduct as a moral character violation (as defined in FAC11B-27.0011). That would explain why the chief forwarded a copy of the internal affairs investigation and the CJSTC 78 to the CJSTC. Maybe, someone at the EPD simply forgot to check the box on the front page of the form that indicates a sustained moral character violation? Only the chief and the EPD would know.
With those possibilities in mind - we sent Chief Arcieri (cc - CJSTC officials) inviting him to submit such clarifications to the CJSTC. We will let you know if we hear anything back from either Chief Arcieri or CJSTC staff.
Our Final Thoughts
While we understand, that many would argue differently - VolusiaExposed.Com is not an "anti-law enforcement" website. We are very supportive of our men and women in uniform. What we seek is "honest law enforcement" - for both citizens and our officers. In the past, VolusiaExposed has posted articles questioning whether officers were being given a fair shake by their administrators.
An FDLE record check reveals that Ofc. Geiger is a young officer, with little law enforcement experience. Young officers make these types of mistakes - it's just the nature of the beast, regarding law enforcement administration.
In our opinion, what is more important, is how police administrators handle these mistakes. So, how do you train officers not to circumvent the traffic ticket writing procedures? Certainly not by teaching them to circumvent the mandatory reporting requirements of the CJSTC !
We suspect that Ofc. Geiger, and the citizens of Edgewater, would have been better served by having his mistake fully exposed - if that meant defending his law enforcement certification at a CJSTC hearing, so be it. Chief Arcieri could have attended any CJSTC hearing defending his officer's misconduct as a simple young officer mistake. At the end of that day - Ofc. Geiger most probably would had retained his certification, and it would be difficult for anyone (to include VolusiaExposed) to question the integrity of the EPD internal affairs process.
Both in law enforcement and politics, the cover-up is usually the larger problem. Remember President Richard Nixon did not resign due to the Watergate break-in - he resigned, due to the Watergate Cover-up.
Ofc. Geiger and the EPD have survived their "Watergate break-in" - however, in our opinion, the specter of a cover-up continues to cast a shadow over both of them.
If you found this article to be thought provoking, we
(VolusiaExposed.Com) invite you to review, the below linked, Special
Investigative Report, exposing law enforcement corruption with the State
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE SERIES ON LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRUPTION
by Matthew Doig and Anthony Cormier
Additional concerns surrounding the
Volusia County Sheriff's Department
We look forward to your comments on this situation.
Drop us a line to let us know what you think.