The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is an independent entity, established through a voter-approved amendment to the Los Angeles City Charter in 1995, charged with providing civilian oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD or Department). The OIG supports the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) – a five-member civilian panel that acts as the head of the Department – and the public by providing information and analysis regarding the conduct and performance of the LAPD. The OIG is commonly referred to as the “eyes and ears” of the BOPC.
The mission of the OIG is to:
The position of Inspector General reports directly to the BOPC and is completely outside the chain-of-command of the Chief of Police (COP).
The creation of the OIG was one of the major reform recommendations issued by the Christopher Commission, which examined the LAPD’s operations following the beating of Rodney King by officers in 1991. Among other things, the Christopher Commission recommended placing a civilian with no connection to the Department in a position to monitor, audit, and oversee the Department’s disciplinary system. Since its inception, the OIG’s authorities and responsibilities have expanded beyond simply the review of investigations into complaints of misconduct.
The OIG now has the authority to initiate an audit or investigation into any aspect of the LAPD, and it has unfettered access to all Department records, facilities, databases, and personnel in order to complete its work effectively.
In addition to its administrative support team, the OIG operates in four primary focus areas:
The OIG is staffed by civilian professionals with diverse backgrounds relevant to the oversight of law enforcement. Staff experience includes investigations, audits, legal analysis, prior law enforcement, public policy, data analysis, and other areas of professional relevance. The current Inspector General is Mark P. Smith.
For more information about the OIG, click here for their website.