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FBI warns about Police Corruption


  With more federal indictments of New Orleans police officers expected, the warning of Louisiana's top FBI agent to a recent graduation class of NOPD recruits may bear repeating. In a Feb. 27 address to the last class of recruits under outgoing Police Chief Warren Riley, FBI Special Agent in Charge David W. Welker said, "I would be remiss if I didn't ... warn you about the five things which are typically the cause of almost every police corruption case I've seen in my career. By themselves and managed properly, they might not be a problem, but when they become habitual and several are present [at once] they can ruin a career. They are drugs, alcohol, women, gambling and debt." Welker told the newly minted officers there will be opportunities for heroics, but questions of honesty and integrity can "make or break" an officer's career. "Always be true to yourself," Welker said. "This career will require you to draw on your personal convictions to face ethical challenges." Sworn in as a cop 30 years ago in Bristol, Pa., Welker joined the FBI in 1987. He transferred to New Orleans in June 2008 to replace the retiring Jim Bernazzani, who now runs a program for disadvantaged New Orleans youth. — Allen Johnson Jr.

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