Yes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one in three Atlanta Police Academy graduates have criminal records. The idea for the initiative came from two PhD candidates in Japan studies at Emory University, who found out that the Tokugawa Shogunate was able to maintain law and order for three centuries only because of its extensive use of former criminals as rank-and-file policemen known as okappiki//goyokiki/meakashi.
Okay, so I lied.
ADD: But not by much. Follow the links.