SAN FRANCISCO â€” A controversial new Web site has surfaced that has officers fuming over privacy, fairness and officer safety concerns. According to the vice president of ratemycop.com, the San Francisco-based site was allegedly launched on the premise of â€œ[breaking] the stereotype that people have that all cops are bad by having police officers become responsible for their actions.â€
Although led by a fleeting suggestion that visitors might use the site to praise officers, the remainder of the solicitation for comments bears a distinctly adversarial tone clearly designed to entice visitors to takes â€œshotsâ€ at officers in a highly public way.
â€œDid you witness a cop doing a good deed, or were you involved in an unfortunate altercation?â€ the site reads. â€œTell us about it. Tell others about it. Let it out. Donâ€™t feel intimidated by the badge to remain quiet.â€
To date, the names of approximately 130,000 officers from more than 450 agencies nationwide are posted under a rating system for â€œauthority, fairness and satisfaction.â€ According to the siteâ€™s creators, additional written comments will be monitored for anything inappropriate, but thatâ€™s of no comfort to concerned officers.
â€œOfficers who are rated face unfair maligning without any opportunity to defend themselves,â€ Chief Jerry Dyer, President of the California Police Chiefs Association, told CNN. â€œThe CPCA will work with other law enforcement associations to pursue legislation to stop the Web site.â€
Of even greater concern are the officer safety ramifications.
“Will [visitors] be able to access our home addresses, our home phone numbers, our marital status, whether or not we have children?” asked Kevin Martin, vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. Although the site claims it will post no personal information, the door appears to be open for visitors to do so. Other officers are alarmed by the opportunity the site presents to identify undercover officers, which would obviously put them at tremendous risk.