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"seperate but fair?".....

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  • "seperate but fair?".....

    As of April 14,2007 ,a California State court of Appeals REVERSED A PREVIOUS STATE COURT RULING AGAINST THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES in awarding the the Los Angeles county Safety Police officers association(LACPOA) nearly $45 million for discriminatory practices in salary and income. The battle pitted the 550+ man force of L.A.county police officers ,in the dept now known as LACOPS-County office of Public Safety,against the county board of supervisors, county personnel ,LASD and the Sheriffs union ,ALADs. The main decision was help in the reversal that there was no proof of "racial bias" by the county and that minority and female officers could have fairly competed for higher paying Deputy sheriffs jobs. the jury also decided that ,based on arguements by the County of L.A.s counsel ,that the county had the "right" to pay according to what they felt the job requirements entailed.currently the starting salary for L.A. county police officer trainees is $3590/mo. whereas the Deputy sheriff trainee positon is $4,432/mo. County police officers top out at just $60K/yr while a Deputy Sheriff can reach a top step of $92K/yr- a major pay difference.

    The 550 man police force,responsible for patrol of county facilities ,parks and urban recreational locations,warehouses,juvenile detention facilities,county probation offices,hospitals,municipal airports,and the hollywood bowl, patrol roughly 2800 sq miles of the counties nearly 4,000 sq miles.They are tasked with responding to radio calls, preliminary invs. gang suppression in county parks ,arrest of misd. and felony violations, and many "basic" police services , but are still considered "SECURITY GUARDS" ,despite being classified as armed "peace officers" under section 830.31(a) of the California Penal code.The County Police-LACOPS is technically the 5th LARGEST police force in the county of Los Angeles,with 200 additional civilian positions and 300 contract employees.In the past 20 yrs (4) county police officers have been killed while on the job in violent confrontations and many others have been injured /disabled in performing "police work" according to their assignments by County mgm't.Currently LASD Deputies recieve (24-26)wks of training at the LASD academy,while County Police officers recieve (22)wks of training at Rio Hondo regional Academy,along side other local PD recruits.

    Problems forseen? L.A.county Police officers are the LOWEST PAID "police officers" in the county (only South Pasadena PD and Sierra Madre PD are as low,but these agencies have BETTER benefits,and the valued 3%@50 PERS retirements).In a current L.E. job market ,where qualified and INTERESTED applicants are hard to find or retain,and with almost 90% of the California Depts hiring with large openings,low pay and crummy work assignments,and job dissatisfaction,plus the potential for hazardous working conditions tends to run off even the most mediocre applicant-like most police officers in L.A. county ,you're only a traffic stop away from gun arrest,and running into narcotics or a violent confrontation depends on how soon the sun goes down when you load up your shotgun and hit the streets.Add to this the fact that despite attempts to find alternatives to hiring -ala placing armed contract security guards in some fixed post positions-the problem continues to be the FACT that the County Police officer position is a needed and necessary component of public safety within the county government.As a force multiplier,they free up just as badly NEEDED Deputy sheriffs for jail duty and county contract police patrols of incorporated and unincorporated communities in L.A. county.Many disenfranchised County officers are applying with all the expensive POST certified training they've recieved to other local police depts and sheriffs depts( including LASD) ,leaving large openings and relatively inexperienced officers to handle their service loads- this is recipe for disaster in terms of liability ( Officer involved shootings,excessive force charges,and officer safety issues).At one time the county police were considerably "2nd rate"-they used surplus Sheriffs equipment -which if anyone knows the LASD(who literally throw NOTHING away) the equipment was well PAST worn out.The officers were generally pulled from county clerical positions,or deputy Trainees that couldn't pass probation or training due to marginal performance.but we're talking nearly 20 yrs ago-Now officers are fully expected to be POST trained and routinely follow in-service classes to comply with the standards of LASD and other state,local ,and county police agencies,they have decent equip and weapons ( AR-15s and GLOCKS are part of the issue) even their level of leadership has improved,first with former LAPD interim chief ( and recent LA Airport Public safety director) Bayan Lewis, now former LAPD Dep chief Margaret York ( wife of superior court Judge Lance Ito ) as Chief of the LAC OPS.The LACOPS have been a cost savings to the county in terms of salary for services rendered and liability,but with a dept struggling to hold onto 500+ personnel and needing almost 700,how long can that last?

    My take on this set back? This lawsuit has been a bitter pill to all involved in it -LACPOA,LACOPS,County BOS,LASD,the community)-it threw the "Race card" at fellow county law enforcement,even at one time accusing them "officially" of conspiring to prevent the growth and salary of the county Cops.county Police officers recieved the derisive term of the "Jr Varsity" from fellow LASD Deputies,and even today you can sometimes see the tension of animosity between the two organizations as an outside officer when you deliver suspects for medical treatment at L.A. county general hospital- you very rarely see them acknowledge one another ,even on "slow" days( LASD maintains a jail ward for sick and injured arrestees there,while the county police patrol the faciity and outlying area of the property).not that I'd doubt that each unit wouldn't back the other in case of emergency,but when talking to both sides independently you hear the complaints-some legit ,some ego.The race card was a sticky and hurtful way to go for what they wanted,and I don't believe that the suit is over with.do the county police deserve a raise? you bet-they work hard and many of them are professional police officers up to the challenge of their assignments.but I believe they should have based their suit on their responsiblities /duties ,training,and placed that in comparison to what other area agencies pay their officers for like conditions.then ,at arbitration, worked for a fine median - the current avg pay in So.Calif is min $52K to $67K,on the avg-alot better than the $43K to 54K avg for a county police officer and less costly to mgm't than trying to match and demand the $54K to $92k/yr for Deputy sheriffs.Ultimately my "fear" is that other local Police agencies will be impacted by this lawsuit reversal when their mgm't decides to pay less ,instead of keeping up with the "jones's"(other local depts).............
    Last edited by DOAcop38; 04-15-2007, 11:39 PM.
    "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

  • #2
    Someone feel a case of the blue flu coming on? I wish they would just to show the county how hard thier job really is. Pull the resources of the Sheriffs Department a little further by having them fill in the missing spots.

    It used to be that someone had to get killed before something got done in the upper levels but today it doesn't even get done when people do.

    I don't envy LACOPS one bit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Rog-I don't think they (LACOPS) want to feud anymore with LASD( that was mistake #1),better to sit down with them ,union to union to iron out "intent" of their feud with mgm't.playing the "we want more $$ 'cuase you got more" isn't going to work.L.A. city engineers tried it against LAPD and LOST,so did LAFD.but "we deserve more becuase we do X,Y,Z work and you can't get anyone else to do that" makes a sensible arguement.what I don't feel comfortable with is that it ( the law suit) might set a precedent for some cities to pay LESS under the opinion that "someone" will still do the job,particularly in my own neck of the "woods"-city of L.A- where there are (4) distinct specialized PDs also............
      "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

      Comment


      • #4
        Which part(s) of post #1 is you and which is (and where did you get) the article you cut and pasted from? I'd like to read it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hbliam
          Which part(s) of post #1 is you and which is (and where did you get) the article you cut and pasted from? I'd like to read it.

          1st paragraph ,abbreviated from the L.A. times online-california section,January 14th.The rest? from info received from Conty cops I know and from their union website,LACPOA-especially the articles on their own history(former Reserves classmates that are Sgts there);prior to '90 that was the dept I was hired for, but after their "academy" I turned it down and went for LAX,with a plan to later transfer to LAPD( well is been 17 yrs and that "plan" hasn't happened )
          I think when you read the article ,then do the follow up research on the law suit,you'll agree that the "Race bias" was a mistake to push into the suit......
          "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

          Comment


          • #6
            A few questions come to mind about this situation...

            1) How did LA CITY Office of Public Safety (General Services PD) manage to get comparable pay to LAPD (both start around $54-56k) and how come LA COUNTY Office of Public Safety couldn't do the same with respect to LASD? I know they are distinct governments with different unions but seeing as city/county OPS' do similar work (provide LE services for government properties) why hasn't the county OPS gotten a fairer shake?

            2) Why hasn't the county/LASD consolidated LAC-OPS like they did with the county marshal's department? Assuming LAC-OPS officers pass LASD backgrounds, etc., Baca would get hundreds of new deputy sheriffs, all of the OPS contracts, and the supposed benefits of "one county, one police".

            - JBell
            Focused Recruit

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Stugotz
              A few questions come to mind about this situation...

              1) How did LA CITY Office of Public Safety (General Services PD) manage to get comparable pay to LAPD (both start around $54-56k) and how come LA COUNTY Office of Public Safety couldn't do the same with respect to LASD? I know they are distinct governments with different unions but seeing as city/county OPS' do similar work (provide LE services for government properties) why hasn't the county OPS gotten a fairer shake?
              L.A. Gen'l Services Police (office of Public Safety) started when the City council demanded better protection services-LAPD was initially asked and truthfully said that they couldn't provide the manpower on a regular basis.This request came in response to several serious crime incidents at council area offices and on city property ( The piper tech shootings, the '97 City of Riverside Council meeting shootings,and the violent protest by illegal cabbies at L.A. city Hall).GSDPD came out of their staff of 45 security officers with "limited" peace officer authority-they weren't armed at the time.Initially they( the GSD officers) were sent back thru a POST academy or thru the module "D" class plus add'l LAPD specific training,then transferred to the class code of "special officer"(former job title of Airport and Port PD officers also); initially GSDPD officers weren't "equal" in terms of pay,equip, and duties(at the time,'97-'98, LAPD starting pay was $44K,LAXPD and Port PD was $42K,GSD was $34K/yr) with GSDPD allowed to only carry .38 cal revolvers and NO CCW or plainclothes details. L.A.city council has always been forward in its issue of "fairness" in concerns to employee compensation,and even LAPD waded in on the issue initially by assisting in the formation of GSDPD and its advisal that that retention and recruitment of "quality" candidates would be hurt by low pay and lack of job definition.
              Additionally Former LAPD chief Parks FAILED to lead LAPD or satisfy the council,so the "one police-one city" unification of L.A.city forces NEVER happened,leaving LAPD to focus on rebuilding its "street services" and the other sub depts to build up their forces as well.

              With county police,they were considered "Security depts" and independent until the early '90s,with most of the officers having little more than Level I/II training-that changed around '92 when all new hires went thru the SAME backgrounds as Deputies,same testing,and were sent to BASIC training. like L.A.s "one city" plan,LASD has looked into the plan of absorbing the County police,but the costs,retraining and the responsibility of patrolling the locations covered by LACOPS would have been a drain on LASD patrol duties at that time.After the formation of the lawsuit ,it was again suggested to deal with the issue.and we are also talking a lawsuit in terms of backgrounds also- the county,much like the proposed L.A. city plan ,would have a hard time saying a "county employee" currently employed in a peace officer /field enforcement job wouldn't be qualified to work in a "like" job(Deputies DO more,but the learning curve isn't that far off for the county cops).I'm trying to get a County cop bud to post hear but he sees the issue as a "waste" of time(kinda' ****ed by the latest ruling).alot of those guys actually like their jobs,but not the pay for the work they do........
              Last edited by DOAcop38; 04-16-2007, 06:31 PM.
              "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DOAcop38
                With county police,they were considered "Security depts" and independent until the early '90s,with most of the officers having little more than Level I/II training-that changed around '92 when all new hires went thru the SAME backgrounds as Deputies,same testing,and were sent to BASIC training. like L.A.s "one city" plan,LASD has looked into the plan of absorbing the County police,but the costs,retraining and the responsibility of patrolling the locations covered by LACOPS would have been a drain on LASD patrol duties at that time.
                I went to a class at Rio Honda years back where there were several LACOPS. They were talking about the fact that some of the "old timers" didnt have the POST training required to be absorbed as LASD and that was the biggest problem facing any merger or pay equality. Im sure there is a whole lot more to it, but that is what they were focusing on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rogerthump
                  Someone feel a case of the blue flu coming on? I wish they would just to show the county how hard thier job really is. Pull the resources of the Sheriffs Department a little further by having them fill in the missing spots.

                  It used to be that someone had to get killed before something got done in the upper levels but today it doesn't even get done when people do.

                  I don't envy LACOPS one bit.


                  Cool. Unlimited o/t. Most of us could care less if we absorb the LACOPS. As long as they have their posts certs. It just opens up another bureau or option later in guys careers. Someone has to do it. No different when we took over LA City Colleges Police. Those guys have now moved on to other assignments within our dept.
                  Last edited by Five-0fromSoCal; 04-16-2007, 06:56 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sucks to hear the LACOPS lose once again. I am starting to realize how frustrating it must be to be a LACOPS officer, doing real "police" work, and not getting paid the same, and not getting the respect.

                    Comment

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