Consent Decree Independent Monitor Reports on LAPD's Reform Efforts
Los Angeles - The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is pleased to report that the Office of the Independent Monitor, on November 15, 2001, issued its first, in a series of quarterly, report on the Department’s implementation efforts toward the Consent Decree.
In an effort to address issues surrounding a perceived pattern of practice of police misconduct and civil rights violations, the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a Consent Decree on November 2, 2000. In addition to providing specific mandates to the LAPD, the Decree required that a Monitor be selected to oversee and report on the implementation of the Consent Decree by the City of Los Angeles, the LAPD, the Los Angeles Police Commission and the Police Department’s Inspector General. Michael Cherkasky and Kroll Associates were hired as the Monitor.
As noted by the Independent Monitor in their report, the Department fully cooperated with the Monitor and ". . . expended great efforts to institute Consent Decree Reforms." Additionally, the report by the Independent Monitor noted numerous positive efforts on the part of the Department. Not only did the Department meet all applicable deadlines established by the Consent Decree, but, as has been reported by Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks, many of the Consent Decree mandates were already developed and implemented by the Department, well in advance of the Decree being signed into law.
"I am pleased with the initial report by the Independent Monitor", stated Los Angeles Police Commission President Rick Caruso. "The Department’s implementation of many of the mandates, prior to Judge Frees’ final approval, is a clear indication of our strong commitment to meaningful reform efforts."
Among the other numerous accomplishments by the Department, noted by the Independent Monitor, were:
The fact that a great majority of LAPD officers are committed to meaningful reform;
The Consent Decree noted the Department’s efforts in having a system in place for community members to voice their concerns, and encourages the Department to continue its efforts in this arena;
As it pertains to the issue of officer morale, the Independent Monitor acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police modified the position of restricting the transfer and/or promotion of an officer, who was the subject of on-going personnel complaint investigation. As a result of the change, this restriction, now, only applies to an officer who is facing serious allegations that could result in substantial disciplinary action; and
The LAPD’s creation of the Critical Incident Investigation Division to investigate all Categorical Use of Force cases, thus bringing uniformity and a higher level of investigative expertise to this arena.
The Department has long recognized the need for a computerized "early warning system" to identify potentially at-risk officers. To this end, the Training Evaluation and Management System (TEAMS) I was implemented in response to recommendations by the Independent Christopher Commission. TEAMS II was identified as the successor to TEAMS I and will provide the Department the opportunity to identify and correct patterns of behavior. As noted by the Independent Monitor, this is a challenging and complex project. The Department, nonetheless, has been aggressively working toward development and implementation of TEAMS II. This notwithstanding, the Department supports the recommendation, by the Independent Monitor, to modify the deadline and recommended timetables for development of and implementation of TEAMS II.
In addressing the backlog of personnel complaint investigations, the Monitor commented on concerns expressed by some employees regarding the inordinate amount of time spent on personnel complaint investigations. It should be noted that this matter was addressed during the early part of this month with the publication and implementation of Special Order No. 36, dated October 29, 2001. This new modification will significantly streamline the recordation, investigation and adjudication of complaints, enabling them to be resolved more quickly without jeopardizing the quality of investigations. The new procedure will benefit both the public and Department personnel, in that it will result in a more expeditious resolution of matters.
Chief Parks commented, "The Independent Monitor’s report is testament of the Department’s commitment to meaningful reform efforts and to our goal of achieving the highest level of quality in our service to the Los Angeles community."
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.