A controversial new web site, ratemycop.com, gives American citizens the opportunity to speak out and rate their experiences with law enforcement officers. Ratemycop, a Los Angeles-based website that launched last Wednesday,
March 5th, “allows registered users to leave written feedback about their interactions with police officers, and rank the officer's service based on three criteria: Professionalism, Fairness and Satisfaction. All feedback is anonymous” as claimed on the website.
In order to rate a cop, you must register as a user. Registered users are provided with the full names of 120,000 police officers from over 40 states obtained by request from departments around the country. Serial and badge numbers are included when available.
According to their website, the mission is to “compile information on cops’ performance and to provide a forum where users can freely share individual accounts. Good, bad or indifferent.”
Mike Tellef with the Peoria Police welcomes the feedback to better police service.
"We'd be crazy if we didn't take advantage of this," explains Tellef. "We have an obligation to ensure that the services that we're providing to the public are the utmost and the best that we can give them for their taxpayer dollar."
However, officer Hector Basurto, the Vice President of the Latino Police Officers Association, would like to see it gone.
"Having a website like this out there puts a lot of law enforcement in danger," asserts Basurto. "It exposes us out there."
Kevin Martin, the Vice President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, agrees. "Will they be able to access our home addresses, home phone numbers, marital status, whether or not we have children? That's always a big concern for us," he said.
Ratemycop, however, insists no photos, addresses, or telephone numbers about the officers are shared with the public.
Vice President and Co-Founder, Rebecca Costell reveals that the site has already received about 100,000 page views, including about 20,000 unique visitors.
She describes ratemycop as an "online feedback forum," and not "anti-cop."
"We're neutral," she said. "We're not after anybody."
“The site is meant for both positive and negative feedback and has measures in place to prevent abuse, such as limiting the amount of posts a user can make each week,” Costell said.
Although the site was accessible earlier today, as we write this article interested users cannot register because the site is currently down for unknown reasons.
Kathleen Clark and Mathieu Ramage
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