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Police Corruption Cases Mushroom

Counting this arrest last January of nine current and former officers in West New York, N.J.,the number of bad cops cases has exploded recently, according to the FBI.

FBI Director Louie Freeh now calls police corruption a "national priority" of the bureau.

In addition to the New Jersey case, police in Cleveland, Detroit, Savannah, New Orleans, Chicago and Starr County, Texas, have all been targets in the past six months of FBI investigations.

FBI Assistant Director Tom Pickard says that's only the big cases.

"The FBI does not do every case. We only do the ones where it is systemic corruption, or we've been asked to assist a local or state police agency," said Pickard

Daily exposure to millions in cash and drugs is blamed for some of the corruption, but National Fraternal Order of Police president Gil Gallegos says the trend really reflects better self policing.

"Instead of trying to hide it or put it on a back burner, think the agencies are more willing to confront it. So that drives the numbers up," said Gallegos.

Those numbers, however, need to be kept in perspective. The FBI, for example, says it's now arrested 500 officers over three years, but that's out of a population of more than 600,000 state and local police.

That means there's still far more good cops out there than bad ones. And, the potential bad ones, are about to come under even greater scrutiny.

For Jim Stewart's full report click above.

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