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Chief of Police Message - October 2010

Civilian Appreciation

When you walk into any LAPD facility, there is a clear visible sign that reads ‘police.’ For visitors and people unfamiliar with law enforcement, it would be easy to dismiss that civilian staff also work, share and make up the Police Department.

Civilians exist at all levels in our Department. Every LAPD success story is made possible due to the significant force of our talented civilian staff. Intended to prevent layoffs, some civilians had to undergo one furlough day per pay period, as others had several hours deducted from their pay. Civilians had to prepare for one year of furloughs, but as the City’s financial crisis has not been resolved, civilians have begun a second year of financial sacrifice. With fewer hours in the office and an always increasing workload, civilians continue to demonstrate the highest level of commitment and strong work ethic.

For many civilians this has caused a lot of stress and difficult times at home. In shared sacrifice during these difficult times, I stand in solidarity with our civilian staff and have taken a voluntary10% pay cut.

I want to thank each and every civilian Department employee for all you do, which is why this October the Department will celebrate civilian employee appreciation week with events at each Bureau and PAB.

The LAPD has always been a family and it is extremely important we recognize our civilian staff. Please refer to the LAN for event details.

A woman who serves as inspiration to all is Ms. Marlene Greenfield.  Ms Greenfield is the most senior civilian member of the LAPD as she served the men and women of this Department for six decades. Ms. Greenfield started working for the City in May 1950 and ended her career at Pacific Division as a Principle Clerk Police II on July 31, 2010. Throughout her 60 years she has remained a dedicated and loyal professional, earning the esteem and gratitude of the men and women of the LAPD.


Financial Disclosure

When I became your Chief, I asked one very important thing of you, to always do the right thing. By doing the right thing, you earn trust. Now I ask you to trust what I am going to tell you about an issue that is of concern to many of you; financial disclosure. I want to set the record straight and dispel rumors floating around that are simply not true.

The City of Los Angeles agreed to the Federal Consent Decree mandates that the Department require regular and periodic financial disclosures by all officers who routinely handle valuable contraband or cash. The financial disclosure requirement was instituted to serve as a tool to assist in the prevention of police corruption. If the Department does not comply with the financial disclosure process, we will most likely be back under a Federal Consent Decree.

Officers at the rank of lieutenant or below assigned to a Gang Impact Team, Gang Enforcement Detail, Community Law Enforcement and Recovery Unit, Narcotics Division, and Narcotics Enforcement Detail must complete and submit an updated financial disclosure every two years after completing their initial confidential disclosure. As of March 29th, 2011, anyone assigned to any of those details will have to complete the financial disclosure.

I worked Southeast CRASH as a cop and a supervisor for five years.  Working CRASH was probably some of the best times of my career.  The financial disclosure should not be the cause of you not achieving what I had as a young P2.

The financial disclosure process is fairly easy:

Make an appointment with the Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator to review the completed financial disclosure documents. The Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator will review the documents for financial stability.  Basically evaluating whether the financial picture makes sense.

The Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator will accept the financial disclosure and provide you with a receipt that documents the date and time your financial disclosure was submitted to Internal Audits and Inspections Division. If you would like to pick up the original financial disclosure, you should indicate on the receipt the date and time you would like to pick it up (within 7 days). Otherwise the original will be destroyed (shredded) after it is scanned onto a CD-Rom.

The Commanding Officer of Internal Audits and Inspections Division reviews and approves the financial disclosure. The Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing then reviews and approves the financial disclosure and gives the Chief a recommendation for approval. I will make the final determination as to whether you are eligible to be selected into the unit.

Once the financial disclosure is approved, it is secured in my office.  Only three people have access to the financial disclosures (myself, and the aide’s who report directly to me, currently a Sergeant II and a Detective III.)

The information on the financial disclosure is self reported. There is no specific information, just general financial information. There are NO social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc. The only number on the form is your serial number. All financial numbers are estimates.  We recognize that these are tough economic times, so we look at the big picture.

The financial disclosure process is audited by the Office of the Inspector General. On March 18, 2010 the Office of the Inspector General conducted an audit of the financial disclosure process and all five audit objectives were 100 percent compliant. That includes one very important objective that determined the financial disclosures were appropriately locked and secured in my office.

According to Special Order No 20, Internal Audits and Inspections Division will randomly select officers for an annual audit and will be required to provide a self-generated credit report. If the officer does not comply with the audit, there is no corrective action. However, the officer shall be removed from the unit immediately; and there is no guarantee for retention of pay-grade advancement when the officer is removed from the unit. The Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator will not retain the credit report or any copies. All documents provided to the Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator at the time of the audit meeting will be returned to the officer.

If discrepancies are found during the audit, the Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator will discuss the discrepancies with the officer who may be able to provide additional information to resolve the concern. I will make the final determination as to whether an officer is de-selected from the process. There will be no corrective action for any identified discrepancies. It’s comparable to the Polygraph, if you do not pass, there is NO corrective action.

I completed the financial disclosure as have many of my staff officers.  To end the Consent Decree, we promised that this program would be followed through until at least 2012. Just as in life, when you promise something, you follow through. I intend to follow through with this promise. There will be no circumventing the process.

If individuals in these specialized units elect not to complete the financial disclosure, we will just have a lot more officers in patrol or detectives working area tables. We will not try to circumvent this agreement.

The gang and narcotic units play a major role in reducing crime in our city. Decide on your own whether or not you will complete the financial disclosure. Do not let someone else pressure you into making a decision. There will always be peer pressure. I hope that you make the decision that is right for you, and one that does not let all your hard work be in vain.

Myths and Rumors about Financial Disclosure

      • Are social security numbers on the disclosure? NO

      • Are bank account numbers on the disclosure? NO

      • Do I need to include my pension or deferred
        compensation information? NO

      • Is my personal address on the disclosure? NO

      • How often do I have to update the information? Every two years per Special Order #20, as long as you are in an applicable assignment.

      • Is this information discoverable via pitches motion?  A judge has to find that the financial information is pertinent to the charges. The information on the form is too general to be worthy of disclosure. If the financial information is requested via pitches motion, we will fight to protect your financial information. In reality, you can find much more information on a “Google” or a public database search of yourself.

       • Is the financial disclosure attached to my personnel file?  NO, the financial disclosure is kept locked in my office.

       • Does my spouse’s personal assets have to be disclosed?  NO, only if the assets are jointly owned.

       • Do I have to disclose my spouse’s income? NO

       • If officers do not comply with an audit, will there be corrective action? NO, however, the officer shall be immediately removed from the GIT, GED, CLEAR, ND, or NED.

       • Is the financial information kept in a database? NO

       • If I’m up-side down on my home mortgage, will I be deselected?  NO, we are aware of the current economic climate and every financial situation is different. We evaluate every financial situation independently.

       • If an officer has 30, 60, or 90 day late payments, foreclosure, and/ or bankruptcy, on his/her credit report would they be rejected or deselected? NO, every financial situation is different and evaluated independently.

       • How is the financial disclosure secured? There are only three people who have physical access to the information… Myself and aids who work directly for me, currently a Sergeant II, and a Detective III. If you would like to come by and see where the financial disclosures are kept, please call my office to schedule a visit.

       • Will Professional Standards Bureau use the financial disclosure forms in its investigations? NO, financial complaints are investigated via other means. Pertinent financial information for a complaint will be available outside the financial disclosure forms (subpoena and third party records warrant for example) financial disclosures will NOT be used as a tool to investigate or adjudicate complaints.

        • Does the federal judge have access to the disclosures?  NO, only the office of the Chief of Police, the Confidential Financial Disclosure Program Administrator, and for auditing purposes, the Office of the Inspector General, have access to the disclosures.

       • What happens to the disclosure if an officer leaves the unit?  The disclosure is retained for two years, then given back to the officer.

       • Is the financial disclosure information in TEAMS?  NO

       • Will the Department pay for the cost of my credit report if it is requested during an audit? Yes

       • What happens if you are removed from a unit, do you keep your pay-grade advancement? There are no guarantees. There has to be a vacancy and you may have to compete for it, similar to a vice assignment.

Comments

I know that Chief Beck had the Financial Disclosure passed down to him when he took the position of COP and that he is just doing his job by trying to sell it. However; I hope that no officers sign it and that we all stick together on this issue. Unfortunately I've heard that some officers have already sold out and signed it in order to join gang or narco units. If nobody signed it and we lost all of our gang units, it would be interesting to see how our Mayor would react since he touts himself as being tough on gangs.

The Chief said: "The City of Los Angeles agreed to the Federal Consent Decree mandates that the Department require regular and periodic financial disclosures by all officers who routinely handle valuable contraband or cash."

I appreciate and support Chief Beck and all he does for the LAPD. But with all due respect to the chief, I would like to ask the following question:

If the need for the Financial Disclosure is so logical, why aren't Property Clerks, Property Couriers, and Jail Personnel also on the list of those that need to fill out a Financial Disclosure? After all, they handle "valuable contraband and cash", and many of them do so alone and without supervision.

I know, only gang officers are devoid of trust, and even though they work with other officers and supervisors, they are all conspirators.

That's why no one has faith in the Financial Disclosure's intent.

Good news! If you choose not to sign the disclosure and go back to patrol you will only have to wait until 2012 and the Department will do away with it. Remember that Bratton, Beck, and the League all agree that it is a useless and demeaning policy. Once we have complied with the restrictions placed by Judge Feess we can get back to having the best Officers working the best assignments. Unless you think that the Department brass aren't telling the truth....

Sorry chief, I still refuse to sign. Sounds like my LT trying to pitch it to me.

Any Officer worth their salt will never sign that rag! And any Officer or supervisor that does, might as well kiss their credibility and integrity good bye. I for one will handle any and all gang related issues in my area from patrol with my fellow patrol Officers, and will not be calling any gang units with or for Intel. Selling out your fellow Officers for a "gang pin" is all I need to know about how weak an Officer is. Like my Dad used too say, "that's all I need to know about that guy!"

Good try Beck, you'll have to go after 2-year P2s who had no proper guidance; those will be the ones ready to sell out their brother and sister officers for a gang pin or to grow out a beard.

And Chief, I thought hard work was something to be respected regardless of the job you are assigned to. HOW DARE YOU SAY "I hope that you make the decision that is right for you, and one that does not let all your hard work be in vain". You're telling me that the slaps who couldn't get into a gang or narco unit before financial disclosure are somehow doing better work than the people working their tails off without that pin? I want to know if the rape victim, 459 victim, missing child, grieving mother, and the abused wife would say that all of patrol's hard work is in vain.

I'll hold my pin close to me and know that I never had to sell my soul for it. Nobody needs a pin to work gangs, I hope people remember THAT when they make their decision.

I'm looking forward to being back on a 3-12, knowing I stood strong. And when I'm looking into the eyes of a child recounting what some thug did to her, I'll be thinking of you, Mr Beck, and although you don't respect the work patrol does, I'll be working hard; for the people of this city, not for you.

AMEN to that Brother!

Very interesting. I sat in the Chief's office several months ago and listed to him try to sell Financial Disclosure. He has too. Those spots are to important to the day to day operations of this department. I also heard him say that no officer would be punished for deciding NOT to sign the disclosure. Very interesting to hear that one of my fellow officers who is an outstanding GIT detective was offered a position in Homicide, but then told he/she could not go...back to patrol please. No repurcusions, eh Chief. Right. You just made up my mind

So we are taking out our frustrations about the financial disclosure on our fellow officers? It's not just the young PII who will sign. Take a look at the officer/detective with a take home car or working a federally funded task force that is still paying cash o.t. In this economy, I'm not sure I can blame those officers for wanting the o.t. to take care of his family. We all hate the disclosure and know it is not an effective tool to uncover misconduct, but there are a lot of officers/detectives that like what they do and want to keep their assignments. Especially with no promotions or much by way of transfer opportunities. I know several senior officers/detectives from various divisions who are signing, none lack integrity. I'm glad to hear that gang officers that don't sign will continue to work, but I also hope that they are mature enough to realize that each officer has to make a decision for themselves. I won't assume to know your situation, don't assume to know mine. If you don't personally know another officer, don't attack their integrity. Officers did not create the disclosure, neither did the department. Don't sign if it's not right for you, but don't judge officers you don't know.

I'm not sure I can say it any better than "s".

This decision is an individual's to make. Look it over, if you are uncomfortable with the information required, don't sign. If you fear what the department will do with the information, whether it will be a court room discovery issue, whether PSB will have access to it, etc, don't sign.

If you don't mind, go ahead. Just do a good job when you get to the unit you wanted to go. Sometimes it doesn't matter how you get to the position you achieve, but what you do when you get there.

For those that don't sign, I hope you don't treat those that do with contempt or hold any information back from them. Your personal decision should not hurt the public's safety.
Also, I hope I don't hear anyone say "I wasn't going to sign, but since all these people did, I may as well." THAT is selling out.

As far as sticking together, look at the last contract. According to the league, 87% of those that voted cast a "yes" for ratification. That 87% came from less than half of league members. Most didn't even bother to vote. The only ones really hurt by the contract were the "workers"; those that spend countless off-days at court, extended EOWs with an arrest or follow-ups on an investigation. We gave up EVERYTHING. We as the rank and file agreed to give the city over 90 million in overtime over that year and a half, in addition to the promotion freeze that is saving another 10 plus million. We gave 100 million. Acknowledging the fiscal straits of the city, some of this was necessary: but ALL of it??? Point is: we didn't stick together on that one.

Be upset with the officer/detective who has spent the last 20 years in a position where they've worked banker's hours, never had to answer a call, put themselves in the slightest of risk, and are about to retire with the same pension as the 30 year P-3 who pushed a black and white the whole time. Meanwhile, they've been working their off-duty job and using the LAPD simply as a benefits provider.

Be upset with the League who never had meetings with us GIT members and asked us what we want to do with the disclosure. Be upset with the Directors who, although they knew South Bureau command was meeting with the GIT members, never bothered to send a director to any of the meetings.

The department, including the Chief, does not want this useless procedure any more than the League, who to their credit, legally challenged it as far as they could.

And if you choose to go back to the most important job in the department and work an A-car, hold your head high and be proud that you are doing the grunt work for the city. Take your experience and write good reports so that THAT six to four detective has no choice but to eventually clear it with an arrest. Write a search warrant as a patrol officer. Teach those around you how to do so. Then lobby the League to change "uniform bonus" to "patrol bonus" to 10%.....because you deserve it. Not having worked an A car in 8 years, I will fully support you, because patrol is the most important, yet most disrespected, job you can do in this department. Hold you head high when you give that FI to the new GED officer and allow him or her to do their job more effectively. Understand the department will do everything they can to convince you to sign it...that's the way it is. But like "s" says above: don't judge other officers for the decisions they make. And lastly: don't be stupid and retaliate, in whatever form, against those that sign. Then you are a risk management case and I guarantee, you will then see what this department is capable of doing to you and your career.


Sell your soul for that elusive, and selfish "golden ring", or stand tall and proud knowing you did the right thing for yourself, and for your brothers and sisters in blue? Is a take-home car really worth it? Is a gang-unit pin really that important? What's next, will all of us have to sign a disclosure statement next just to prove our integrity and keep our job? Honor and integrity are already the norm. don't sell out. "No man is an island"!

We'll see if the moderator even posts my last post. Oh, and before some public servant waxes about being beat up on a blog by other officers? TOUGH, this is a technologically advanced time we live in, so if you don't like being called out for your weakness, don't turn on your computer!

It is what it is. Sign or don't sign. A few people refusing to sign aren't going to "strong arm" the department and the federal judge into doing away with this. No officer wants this but it's this way. Peer pressure and belittling the officers who do sign is immature and embarassing. If you don't want to sign don't sign. Officers it's your choice and your choice only. Don't let the disclosure hold you back from doing something you want to do.

Public servant? What does that even mean? Believe me, no one is beating up on me. Sounds like your're the one who can't take it; the reality that some will sign, some won't and life will go on. The point is, the financial disclosure is an awful thing, but no officer created it and we shouldn't take it out on eachother. Be mad at the judge, be mad at the bad officers who put us in the position, but not at the guy who makes an informed decision one way or the other.

If you don't know what the term "Public Servant" means why are you even a police officer? Unreal. As for the "Officers" that brought us the CD and the FD, It was Perez, and Durden, both are gone. So educate yourself before you speak about any other bad"officers" that forced this nonsense on us. The other officers that were named by Perez won a major 15 million dollar settlement against the city for railroading them and demonizing them with zero facts to support their involvement in the Rafael Perez scandal. Not to mention the countless officers that were sent home for years while they were investigated and threatened with prison for simply having the unfortunate circumstance of working in anywhere near Rampart gangs. And if you sign the FD you are what you are! I'm not "mad" at anyone that signs the FD, just disgusted in them. And that includes D3's down to P2's! SPU units and other resources will pick up the slack if there are no gang or narco units after march.

Oh and "S" Man up tough guy and stand up! You sound like you one of the weak ones willing to sign. Very telling, that you pound your chest on this blog! Because I haven't heard ONE SINGLE OFFICER spout off like you are here! Try that in an OSB or an OCB gang task force briefing and we'll see how tough skinned you are then.

Signing or not signing is a personal decision based on lots of things relevant to a point in one's career. Just like the hailstorm that took place when a polygraph became required to go into narcotics, this too will become a non-issue. I see the FD going the way of the long sleeve shirt and tie in the near future. All this banter about the FD is taking away from REAL problem solving.

I can either sign it and get my last year's extension in GED, or go do something else. Run your name through google and some of the people search engines and you will see what a red herring the FD is. Again, make a decision from being informed, not as a member of a pack of sheep that thinks and acts the same.

Everyone be safe.

P.S. Yes, the SPU units can pick the slack. But gang intel inputted into gang databases will dry out, since you have to be assigned to a gang unit to input information. Since the LAPD inputs the bulk of gang information into the statewide gang database, a reduction will have statewide impact on crime solving. Just in the name of being a "stand up" guy or gal with people who couldn't care less about your career.

Do what's right for you.

This Department has a long history of some employees doing very selfish and self-serving things. That is why we are left dealing with the aftermath. Sign or don't sign, that is your choice. Personally, I like the fact that I have never caved-in to selfish and self-serving thoughts or actions. My work-ethic, integrity, loyalty to my peers, all speaks for itself, not my title, unit, rank, paygrade or assignment/designation.

If the CalGangs dries up due to weak LAPD gang units, then so be it!

Hey T if its so bad here just do us all a favor and leave. Im sure you believe you are the hardest cop in history on this blog, but Im positive you arent the tough guy you say you are. What have you worked and how much time you have on the job?

Hey "j" If guys like "T" and I left, you building squatters would be forced to come out from beneath your desks and acually do police work. My working resume is filled with actual experience that guys like you wish you had. Sure you'll come on this blog and talk tough, but it's true workers like us that put in Gods work out there and cowards like you just talk tough. GARONTEE we've been involved in far more, and put more hard corps felons in prison for far longer than you could ever imagine. The department is filled with admin types like you ( I can only imagine that's why you're so offended by the truth officers like us speak) who cannot and will not EVER be real policemen. We worked gangs before you were bagging groceries, or getting fed a bottle before your nap. As for how bad it is? it's only that bad because you and your kind have failed to stand up and be counted on. You are truly a failure and have failed the citizens you propose to be protecting. Face it, you're weak.

All you guys talking about signing the FD are failing our city and your fellow officers. You're a bunch of self serving turncoats!

The way I see it is simple. I have nothing to hide. However, that does not mean it is anyone's business what my financial situation is. I have the same dang rights as ex-cons, parolees, prostitutes, gangmembers, child molesters and murderers. If you think I am dirty, GET A WARRANT!!!!!! I HAVE RIGHTS! All of you who want to sign away your rights, have at it. I will continue to work patrol and PROTECT MY RIGHTS!!! And my spouse's rights. And my children's rights.

That t guy is a very angry guy. Must of been one of those cops picked on in high school.

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