Say Uncle links to this story which talks about a guy who served twenty years in the Army, then became a police officer, then they ran a background check and found that he is a felon. I have mixed feelings on this subject.
First of all, the background check should have been run before he ever took the oath of office. He's a policeman, by God and we run criminal histories as a matter of course.
Second, we are sworn to uphold the law. Even if we disagree with it. Granted, we have great discretion in arresting and great discretion in most activities on our job, but I think we can all agree that discretion is the greater part of honor.
Third, here in Louisiana we recognize that people, good people, can make mistakes and our laws reflect that. A felon can get a second chance in Louisiana and while it isn't something to take lightly, I am pleased that most folks get a second chance. We routinely grant first offender pardons to most offenders and those folks who get first offender pardons can also get their gun rights and voting rights restored. Sometimes it takes ten years, but that is prudent in my opinion.
I have known cops who had felonies on their records, but everyone knew about it and they had to jump through all the hoops to clear their records before they pinned on the badge. One youthful indescretion wasn't enough to blemish them forever.
I think Louisiana does the right thing and strikes a reasonable balance in this regard.