Tampa Detectives Fired for Stealing Time

St. Petersburg Times staff writer,Colleen Jenkins, reported Friday on four Tampa Police Detectives who were fired (3 were able to retire with pensions intact – only the junior detective actually lost her job)for clocking off work early but charging their department for working a full week.

There are sure to be those who sypathize with the disgraced officers as there will be others who will feel that they got off lightly. The Asst. Police Chief summed it up quite well when he stated; “They lost their way”.

I happen to know better than most how he feels after discovering his officers were cheating on the hours they worked – or more appropriately – failed to work. I recently fired an employee who left work after a couple of hours and then sent in a timesheet the next day claiming to have worked the full shift.

The Tampa Asst. Police Chief shares my view when he states; “Once you compromise your integrity in these cases, there’s no recovery”. My instructors and I emphasize this very point to every student who goes through our various training programs.

Our fired ex-employee failed to understand this. He went so far as to file a complaint with the Department of Labor when we refused to pay him for the hours that he did NOT work. At least the Tampa detectives appeared to know when the game was up.

A word of advice to employers: An employee who leaves an hour early (or spends hours on the internet or on the phone with their friends for that matter)can cheat the company out of significant amounts over the long term. Secondly, make sure when you decide to terminate a thieving employee that you have the case fully investigated. That is what we did and what the Tampa Police did.

It’s a shame that some people are so greedy that they don’t realize when they are well off. Like the Tapma Police Department, we have no time for those who compromise their integrity.

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