POLICE POLICY: Police Consider Policy Changes

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The on-duty drug arrest and subsequent termination of a Des Moines police officer this spring is causing a ripple effect.  Agencies across the state are reviewing and changing their policies in the wake of Brandon Singleton's firing.

Des Moines Police Union President Matt Harkin says 99 percent of Des Moines' men and women in blue are upstanding officers.

He calls Brandon Singleton, an anomaly.

In April, Singleton was involved in two crashes in just one week.  At the scene of the second accident, officers say they found marijuana and meth in his squad car.

On Thursday, Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw announced plans for more oversight into officer's accidents, arrests, complaints, and leave.

The idea is to have one set of eyes monitoring all officers’ activities.

She says, “When you view them collectively you can really identify wow someone should have put this together earlier may be obvious there was an issue.”

But Brandon Singleton may have had issues before he was even hired by the Des Moines Police Department.

In 2003, singleton was arrested for possession. Field tests show the substance was cocaine.  The charges, were later dropped.

The Iowa State Patrol has similar hiring practices as Des Moines Police, with one big exception.

Des Moines Police prohibit illegal drug use three years before hiring, the State Patrol weeds out candidates who have ever used illegal drugs.

The State Patrol says they most likely would have disqualified Brandon Singleton after his drug arrest.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Des Moines Police hope one officer won't tarnish the reputation of the department as a whole.

Des Moines Police and the State Patrol are both considering internal policy changes.  That includes random drug testing for all officers and mandatory drug testing after an officer is involved in a crash.