Web site allows citizens to 'rate their cop'

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The Internet lets everyone become anonymous critics. Now we can even rate the officer who gave us our latest speeding ticket.

Lt. Paul Jaroscak, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office
Lt. Paul Jaroscak, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Ratemycop.com is a Web site where you can find police departments across the country, including here in Utah, and leave comments for officers in that department. Some are good, like one we found saying: "very professional, solved the issue at hand."

Others are negative, like: "sets a poor example and brings shame."

"We know and understand there will be some negative comments. We hope that if there are, that they be true and accurate," said West Valley police Lt. Bill Merritt.

That's the trick. Anyone can post anonymously.

Web site allows citizens to 'rate their cop'

"That's always a worry, but to be honest, in law enforcement we kind of put up with that. That's always been part of the game," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak.

All departments we talked to told us if somebody has a legitimate complaint against an officer, they should come in to that department and file a formal complaint.

"I know some people are suspicious about in-house investigations, but for those minor investigations, we do handle them in house. The major ones, if we feel there is a conflict, we send to another agency," Jaroscak said.

Lt. Bill Merritt, West Valley Police Department
Lt. Bill Merritt, West Valley Police Department

Of course, the Web site works the other way as well. Police officers can rate themselves high and have their buddies give them five stars. It just shows, you shouldn't believe everything you read on the site, good or bad.

"That's a good place for them to vent. Hopefully, the public is more mature than the ‘venter,'" Midvale police Detective John Salazar said.

"Maybe we'll get a ‘rate-a-reporter' next," Jaroscak joked.

Other police departments we spoke to say they don't put too much stock into what someone writes anonymously.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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