Ex-Flyer: Local Cops “Take Care” of Flyers Players

Philadelphia Police say any officer found giving "special treatment" to a Flyer or any other person will be disciplined accordingly.

Todd Fedoruk spent his first four seasons of his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He was in his early 20s. Like many young, newly rich professional athletes, he partied. Later in his career, he had problems with drugs. Fedoruk is retired now.

In an interview with Canada’s TSN, he opened up about his out-of-control drug abuse. He’s trying to encourage players struggling with the same problem to get help.

He also claimed that, occasionally, police in the area look the other way.

Like getting pulled over by the cops. You’re drunk, but they’re like, ‘You’re drunk, but get home, take care of yourself.’ For me it happened a few times. Driving around and you had a few drinks, and the cop could tell but he was a season ticket holder. So he’d follow you home. I guess it’s a good thing but it enables bad things down the road. I’m not saying it happened every night.

It depends on where you are. In Philly, there’s a history of (police) taking care of us.

Note that Fedoruk doesn’t necessarily mean just Philadelphia Police let Flyers players go. Many members of the Flyers live in South Jersey, usually near where the team practices in Voorhees at the Skate Zone, and he could be indicting all local law enforcement!

Philadelphia Police Lt. John Stanford released a statement to TSN in response to the comments:

“We typically don’t respond to the remarks of others; however, I will just say that the department would not condone any member giving someone ‘special treatment’ because of their career or personal status. The law is the law and our responsibility is to enforce it and uphold it, and if it is determined that an officer violated that oath, then he/she will be disciplined accordingly.”

The statement is worded interestingly; obviously, this kind of thing is going to happen. Even the Philadelphia Police Department has to admit that. Cops are people, cops are Flyers fans, cops sometimes let people go on things like speeding or DUIs for whatever reason. We just saw video in August of a cop offering to let the driver of an unregistered car go if he bought Hero Thrill Show tickets. (Police commissioner Charles Ramsey said at the time officers making live stops of unregistered cars do have some leeway, though they aren’t supposed to make drivers by charity tickets.) We can have policies against it and attempt to prevent such cases of special treatment, but there’s always going to be some of it. (Broad Street Hockey, the Flyers blog, notes this as well.)

The police do say any officer who’s found to be doing this will be disciplined. That will be hard to do; Facebook user Rob Stay Faded may post his officer interaction, but no pro hockey player is going to give up a get-out-of-jail-free card.

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