On January 16 2013, in Schaumburg, Illinois; three police officers were arrested after a two week DEA investigation took place. During the investigation, video and audio surveillance captured John Cichy, Matthew Hudak, and Terrance O’Brien robbing drug dealers of money, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in the time legal search warrants were to be carried out. Authorities located a storage locker in which the officers tucked away the confiscated drugs. Upon seizing the storage locker, 275 grams of cocaine were discovered. A fourth unidentified man allegedly obtained the drugs from the storage locker and assisted the officers in re-selling it in the streets.
Many connections can be drawn from this example of corrupt behavior by police officers, to the three level typology presented by Maurice Punch. The first typology explains types of officers; Cichy, Hudak, and O’Brien would identify as meat-eaters. According to the Knapp Commission Report, meat-eaters are police officers who actively watch for situations that could extract them financial gain. Not only did the three officers rob drug dealers of illicit drugs and cash, but they also had a system set up to re-sell the drugs back into the community; definitely some meat-eating going on here. In Chicago, the minimum age requirement to become a police officer is 21 years of age; Hudak is 29 years old, Cichy is 30, and O’Brien is 47. It is unsettling to know that police officers who haven’t even been on the job for ten years could potentially fall down the wrong path so early in their career. I always knew that police corruption existed, but I had imagined it being police officers that had worked for 20-30 years on the police force before falling down a corrupt path.
The second typology explains police corrupt practices as classified by Barker and Roebuck. This example of police deviance falls under the category ‘direct criminal activities’. According to Barker and Roebuck, direct criminal activities are clear violations of criminal norms committed by police officers. Stealing is a criminal violation, and re-selling confiscated drugs makes this situation even worse. The third typology describes three levels of deviance; of the three, this example falls under ‘corruption within police domain.’ Corruption within the police domain describes a meat-eater as an officer that searches aggressively for ways to extort money from legal and illegal enterprises. The police officers are also involved in incriminating activities themselves. Obtaining a storage locker to reserve confiscated drugs only strengthens the belief that these officers were actively searching for enterprises to extort money from and that there were not any signs of slowing down.
Cichy, Hudak, and O’Brien are being held in lieu of $750, 000 bails each, pending the result of the investigation.