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Chief of Police Message - July 2010

BUDGET

The Department’s budget team has worked tirelessly with the Mayor’s staff and City Council to get our budget approved. Some of the budget highlights include the ability to maintain our sworn workforce at 9,963. We will only hire to attrition and new academy classes will range between 20 and 50 recruits to be cost effective. The City has allowed us to restore 17 regular civilian positions vacated as a result of the Early Retirement Incentive Program. These 17 positions will fill critical vacancies throughout the Department.

As I previously mentioned, our Department will not be purchasing any new vehicles or motorcycles but we were able to secure funding for Motor Transport Division to purchase vehicle parts and supplies. Additionally, funding from the Forfeited Assets Trust Fund and the City’s General Fund will help pay for maintenance of Force Option Simulators, replacement of technology as it becomes outdated and the disposal of live ammunition, keeping our personnel working in a safe and productive work environment.

We took a large hit with our overtime budget so I would like to remind all personnel of the revised Compensatory Time Off bank limits. I am counting on all of you to remain vigilant in our efforts to conserve overtime usage and adhere to the mandates of Administrative Order No. 7, December 2009, while complying with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Integrity Audits

In July 2009, the Department was released from the Consent Decree. One of the major contributing factors in making this happen was the Department’s ability to show the Independent Monitor and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Federal Judge that our police officers, day in and day out, were conducting their work with professionalism and integrity.  Capturing this evidence was the result of the work conducted by the Ethics Enforcement Section (EES), Special Operations Division of Professional Standards Bureau. Although the Department is no longer operating under the Consent Decree, all eyes are on us now more than ever, to see how we as a Department police ourselves.

A hallmark of our Department is that the rules and values of this organization are very clear, and so are the consequences. The Ethics Enforcement Section regularly performs a variety of integrity audits, both random and specific sting audits. They are essentially “open book” tests, designed to give the officer a choice to either choose to do the right thing or choose to do the wrong thing. Overwhelming the majority of the times, the information EES captures shows officers, supervisors and detectives hard at work making this City a safe place to live.  Occasionally, employees engage in conduct inconsistent with the standards expected of a Los Angeles Police Officer. When this happens, a personnel investigation and sometimes a criminal investigation are conducted into the matter.

Most disappointing to me are the sting audits where officers have failed to handle property that otherwise should have been booked. Do not take or create shortcuts. Follow the procedures and policies that you have been taught to follow. Many of you have received commendations for passing integrity audits and our Standards Based Assessment (SBA) rating has a box to document your proven integrity as a result of an EES audit. Keep in mind, EES is not the only entity monitoring your performance in the field. News organizations and the public routinely capture your activities on video. Do not disgrace the badge, always behave constitutionally and respectfully in the performance of your duties. I expect all of you to remain true to your oath of office and EES will continue in their mission to help ensure the integrity of police operations within the Department. Remember when you fail we all fail as an organization.

“LAPD” on Display

The most recognizable police vehicle is the 4-door black and white. But our latest display in the entrance to our new headquarters will showcase alternative police vehicles. On display are the T-3, the Polaris – an electric 4 wheeler vehicle, a patrol bicycle, and a dirt bike (used for off road terrain). Come by and enjoy the display.

Together We Can…

Since my last message, I have received more emails and spoken to many in the field who have shared their concerns. Although I may not have the perfect solutions carefully “packaged” in response to your questions at the time that you ask, I listen to each and every one of you. I appreciate and value your insight. Every decision I make weighs on me, because I realize that it has the potential to affect your livelihood and ability to comfortably work in an environment where you feel supported and inspired to do what we all signed up to do as public servants.  Trust that I act with your best interest in mind, for you now and for those that follow you in the years to come. I have been your Chief for over six months now and will continue to ask for your suggestions in the future because together we can make a difference.

So, here’s the latest on the various projects initiated by your inquiries:
•   In an effort to create a more responsive and timely process for issuing awards, citation and  commendations, these Department awards will now be given out quarterly rather than only once a year.
•   In the next few months, you can look forward to the implementation of the DUI Arrest, Cite and Release Program
•   The Department is in discussion with the City Attorney regarding the Citywide standardization of the RFC
•   A pilot program to assess the need to take “Complained of Injury Only” Traffic Collision Reports is being developed
•   The closing the Area’s front desk during off-hours is likely to be implemented in the near future.
•   The Department is looking at approving the deployment of the model 1911handgun (unknown makes at this time) for all officers who are able to shoot a bonus score of “expert”, details are being worked out now for the fall implementation.

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