Good guys are the worst kind of bad guys. They know how to get away with things. Cops know more about crime than most people– and definitely more than the average criminal. Mike Dowd was known for being one of New York City’s dirtiest cops, and the amount of dirt they found on him was almost unfathomable. How can one man hide behind the shield of everything good just so that he can enhance his personal gain?
Mike Dowd might have a reputation for helping the NYPD catch some of the most prolific corrupt officers, but before he came to the good side, he was just another criminal. His case was so severe, in fact, that the police force now uses it for training to help officers understand just how quickly a good cop can become someone’s worst enemy. What did Mike Dowd do?
For starters, he and his partner worked in the 75th Precinct, which was one of the most dangerous and violent in the city during the 80’s and 90’s. They protected local drug dealers, shook down smaller dealers and used their power to make deals, and eventually evolved into dealing cocaine themselves, taking some of the local competition out of the market simply by being who they were and using their badges to help further their own interests, rather than protecting the city.
Over a period of six years, the NYPD reported 16 different complaints about Dowd, all involving robbery and drug dealing in East New York. He also did nothing to hide his fortune or his free time; often he showed up at work in a cherry red Corvette, and was frequently picked up at the station by a car service or limo for trips to Atlantic City. It’s ironic that the department ignored the allegations for so long that Dowd was arrested by another department entirely before he would be brought up on any kind of charges.
With all of the stories today that you hear about police corruption and law enforcement using their power in immoral and illegal ways, these cases aren’t as uncommon as we would like to believe. Many of these crooked officers, of course, just do what they do and don’t offer any apologies or explanations for their wrongdoing. Often, they are protected by the people that they work for, because the mentality is often not about right or wrong, but about protecting your fellow officer and the reputation of the department. Mike Dowd has at least stepped up to the plate and found a way to help cops fight corruption in New York City, and that is no small feat.
In true crime, all stories are horrifying. The stories of those who are supposed to be protecting our families, however, hold a special place in the world of evil. Not only are the officers committing crimes, but they are doing it behind the security of a badge, and often flaunting it because they know that they can get away with it. Police corruption and crimes will probably never completely disappear. For every step forward, there is another guy sneaking into a position of power so that he can abuse it. For some, it’s a slow decline that just sort of happens over time. Others are planning it from the beginning. Regardless, they need to be held accountable just like anyone else. Thanks to Mike Dowd, the NYPD is now more capable of that accountability. Unfortunately, the road to progress is paved with good intentions, and it shouldn’t have taken a scandal to set the department straight.