Publication

In the Philly region, fired cops have shuffled to new departments. New laws aim to change that.

Offit Kurman Labor Lawyer, Neil A. Morris, handled the Discharge of the Warminster Township Police Officer, Michael Schmalz, after he was found not guilty of criminal charges

by Vinny Vella | July 18, 2020

 

Inside the Warminster Police station eight years ago, Cpl. Michael Schmalz handcuffed a disruptive prisoner, dragged him out of his cell, and, with help from other officers, pushed him to the ground. He then struck him twice in the head, doused him with pepper spray, and knelt on his neck for 45 seconds, police records show.

Schmalz, 57, was fired after an internal investigation found that he used excessive force. He was also charged with simple assault, harassment, and tampering with public records, but was acquitted by a county judge and later had his criminal record expunged.

Three years later, he went back to work as a police officer in Rockledge, a tiny borough on Montgomery County’s border with Northeast Philadelphia. In the years since, Schmalz has worked his way up the ranks, and is now second-in-command, in line to become the chief should his current boss retire.

In interviews, Schmalz’s former colleagues said they were stunned that he was able to gain another high-level position as a law enforcement officer. Schmalz, for his part, said the dismissal of the criminal charges proved his behavior wasn’t that egregious.

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