We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
This post has been updated with a special message from Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
As the world turns and we continue taking a critical look at the internal dealings of the Los Angeles Police Department’s upper echelon—which for all intents and purposes are one of the best soap operas not on television—I bring to you a special edition of what I’m calling myLAPD.
In honor of the upcoming “Vatican Shuffle” announcement expected any day now by Chief Charlie Beck, I want to share with you a special story I was told regarding one of the Department’s up and coming members of the command staff.
Once upon a time in the not so distant past, a female police officer at Hollywood Division complained that she was being stalked by a watch commander—to be exact a police lieutenant.
Apparently, the officer had been having an affair with this police lieutenant. It happens and apparently it happens a lot in the Los Angeles Police Department. But I digressed.
At some point, the police officer decided to break off the relationship. The lieutenant refused to believe that the officer was serious about this. He repeatedly called the officer and tried to talk her into continuing the relationship. The officer eventually stopped answering her phone. The lieutenant continued to call and left several explicit messages on this officer’s answering machine in which he begged her to continue the relationship.
The personnel complaint for this particular indiscretion was assigned to a probationary police sergeant to investigate. The sergeant pointed out that the lieutenant was her direct supervisor and was responsible for writing her rating. She pointed out that the complaint should be assigned to Internal Affairs due to the obvious conflict of interest between personnel within Hollywood Area. The sergeant was at first told to shut up and handle the investigation. A short time later, the investigation was pulled from her without explanation and was reassigned to Internal Affairs.
The police officer was subsequently subjected to a “random” drug test. The test returned positive for methamphetamine. The lieutenant tried to argue that the officer obviously had no credibility since she was using illegal drugs. Subsequently, the police officer was fired.
Unfortunately for the lieutenant, the police officer had all of those embarrassing messages that the lieutenant had left on her answering machine.
The lieutenant was given a five-day suspension for becoming involved in a sexual relationship with an employee within his chain of command.
Apparently, Internal Affairs never investigated how this lieutenant had managed to remain unaware that the officer with whom he was involved in an intimate relationship was using meth.
Some years later, this same individual was again investigated for his alleged sexual indiscretions. In the second instance, it was alleged that he was involved in a sex club. It was also alleged that he was involved in a sexual relationship with one of his direct supervisors. It was suggested that this individual and his supervisor engaged in inappropriate sexual messages on their Department issued cell phones. This was such a big deal that this individual’s Department issued cell phone was seized.
An official memo was issued directing subordinates to make off-duty notifications of critical incidents to his personal cell phone.
The second complaint was ultimately allowed to die a quiet death.
As for that police lieutenant, he is now on the short list to become an Assistant Chief.
The moral of this story is that depending on who you know, what you know about others and who likes you, you can get away with just about anything and eventually wake up to find yourself an Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
However, for the rest of us, a “Help Call” should be broadcast to all units including to the Mayor, Police Commission, and Inspector General to help save the LAPD from the LAPD. Simply moving around command staff to lateral positions and repositioning friends into key positions is not the answer—especially if those friends have a penchant for stalking their prey and then lying about it. That’s what us civilians call a no-no. Remember we get arrested and charged for that type of behavior.
Update…the following email was sent out on Monday, November 17 to the men and women of the LAPD from the Chief:
>>> chiefcharliebeck 11/17/2014 8:46 PM >>>
November 17, 2014
Message from Chief Beck regarding Department Reorganization & Changes in Command Staff Assignments
This morning I met with my Senior Command Staff and announced organizational changes as we enter the New Year. As I have expressed to you upon my reappointment, positive change moving forward for this Department is necessary. These changes are reflective of my vision for the next five years to lead the nation in innovative policing and to expand our collaborative community partnerships. This is the first step in the process of succession planning for the future of our organization.
First and foremost, I have created the position of First Assistant Chief, to be held by Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger. This appointment brings significant commitment to drive the overall momentum within the Department and our new leadership team moving forward. I have tremendous confidence he will do just that. This change in command will be effective April 5th, 2015.
Below are the organizational changes in order of effective dates. Over the next few weeks Organization Charts will be updated and posted on the LANs.
Effective November 30, 2014
RACR/Compstat will be assigned to Assistant Chief Michel Moore
Effective December 28, 2014 the follow entities will become a Direct Report to the
Chief of Police:
Information Technology Bureau
Employee Relations Group
Media Relations and Community Affairs Group
Effective January 11, 2015, the Chief of Staff position will become a Commander position, and Commander Sean Malinowski will assume this assignment.
Effective April 5, 2015
First Assistant Chief (Director of Office of Special Operations), Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger
Director Office of Operations, Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas (upgrade)
Director Office of Administrative Support, Assistant Chief Michel Moore
Commanding Officer Operations Valley Bureau, Deputy Chief Robert Green
Commanding Officer Operations South Bureau, Commander William Scott (promotion)
I am optimistic that we can meet every challenge that the next five years will bring and look forward to working alongside you.
Thank you for all that you do and be safe,