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.
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.