Can the courts ban someone from being a police officer?

In reaction to, but not specific to, the Kim Potter case.
Suppose the judge felt that if you can’t tell the difference between a taser and a gun, you shouldn’t be a cop. Could they add the penalty of taking away your ability to work as an LEO? Suppose a cop is in a state where you cannot be a cop if you have a felony. They plead down to a misdemeanor to avoid that but can the judge still prevent them from being a cop? Or any other scenario?

I’m assuming any such order would only be valid in that state.

You can’t get out of a felony or misdemeoner by moving to another state. Also I would be suprised if any state would let a convicted felon become a cop since felons can not have guns. If a judge allowed a cops charge to be dropped down to a misdomeaner then he knows that he is opening the door for them to stay in law enforcement.

I’d think many departments may not hire someone with certain misdameaners.

Bingo. You can’t be a cop if you can’t carry a gun.

Felons can’t legally carry guns*.

*If there are exceptions, I’m not aware of them.

Yes. I have seen sentences that have provisions that state they can never be a police officer again. Even if they pled down to a misdemeanor. That’s in my state anyway.

I read there are a few rare exceptions.

I had a buddy, a Sgt in the local PD. His wife accused him of abuse in a nasty divorce (and I knew him, he could be verbally abusive but not violent, but who knows?). His Lawyer advised him to plead no contest, the plea deal was no jail, no fine, just a anger management class. So he did. Later the ex post facto law (imho, ianal) was passed saying that no one ever convicted of spousal abuse could own a gun. The dept was behind him, let him be a desk sgt until retirement, but I knew his lawyer was working for a pardon. I dunno what happened, I moved away, lost touch.

This article from 10 years ago said that the federal law allows states to waive the felony restriction. Dunno if it’s still accurate a decade later.

Many states have allowed convicted felons to have theie records espunged which basically seals the conviction from being reviewed, its like it never happened. I have two friends in Ohio that had this done in the 80s, so its not new. But you do need to meet certain requirements and pay the right lawyers and go in front of the right judge.

They both have fairly impressive gun collections now.

In many states law enforcement officers must be certified by the state. It appears that being convicted of a felony pretty much automatically revokes that certification. I’m not sure, however, whether a judge can order a revocation for an offense not listed in the state’s certification regulations, whether that’s up to the state certification board, or whether certification can’t be revoked, only voluntarily surrendered.

I believe that acception of a plea deal qualifies as a volentary giving up your rights. Either take the deal or take your chances.

I’m not talking about losing your ability to be an LEO because of a felony conviction. I’m talking a judge barring an LEO from remaining a cop above and beyond their sentence.

Yes I have seen that exact thing happen in my state.

If it is of interest as a comparison. In the UK the College of Policing (the quasi-independent body which represents all UK police officers) can and regularly does ban individuals from serving as officers.

Bans can be for criminal conduct or simply poor performance (incompetence). Bans are normally reviewable after 3 (poor performance) or 5 (conduct) years.


In fact I looked up the figures. Between December 2017 and end of March 2020 it looks like 555 individuals were placed on the barred list. The current total number of officers is about 160,000. So unless I have a decimal point misplaced then about one and a half tenths of one per cent get barred per year.