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Full financial disclosure for police officers?

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  • Full financial disclosure for police officers?

    LAPD Officers May Quit Over Disclosure Demand


    Updated: December 19th, 2007 03:59 PM EDT


    Most Read Most E-mailed E-mail Article Print Article


    RACHEL URANGA
    Daily Breeze (Torrance, California)



    Some 500 Los Angeles Police Department gang and narcotic officers are threatening to retire or change jobs if the city follows through on a plan that would force them to reveal their personal finances, union officials say.

    A financial disclosure proposal set to be considered Thursday by the five-member civilian police commission would be the last major hurdle to comply with a 7-year-old federal consent decree meant to root out police corruption.

    Under the proposal, all gang and narcotics officers with the rank of lieutenant or below would be required to provide a detailed list of their finances, including all their properties, past due credit card debts, outside income, stocks, bonds and checking accounts.

    "No other law enforcement agency in the country forces its officers to share this kind of information," police union President Tim Sands said in a prepared statement.

    "This financial disclosure plan is an unnecessary and ill- conceived intrusion into the private lives of LAPD officers, their spouses and their children."

    The decree, which arose out of the Rampart corruption scandal implicating several officers on a gang detail of framing and beating suspects, has been a top priority for LAPD Chief William Bratton, a former consent decree monitor.

    Bratton was vacationing Tuesday, but First Assistant Chief Sharon Papa said she could not comment on a matter that would be considered by the police commission in closed session.

    Under the proposal, financial disclosure would be phased in over two years. Incumbent officers would not have to report for two years but all newly assigned officers must divulge their finances within 10 days of their assignment.

    Though decree reforms have been departmentwide, it's the gang units that have seen some of the most intense scrutiny.

    Many in the unit are already resentful of the amount of paperwork required of the heavily scrutinized officers, he said.

    The reform is only one of dozens forced by the federal consent decree that radically shifted the way the LAPD conducted day-to-day police work after the Department of Justice found "a pattern or practice of excessive force, false arrests, and illegal searches and seizures."

    Under the decree negotiated by then Mayor James Hahn to head off a Justice Department lawsuit, the LAPD has implemented TEAMS II, a complicated tracking system that aims to root out troubled officers.

    It also prohibited the use of secret informants, demanded gang officers be uniformed, created an integrity section and instituted a massive audit division.

    But the police union and others doubt whether the financial disclosure proposal will reveal bad officers who hide money in trust funds with family members, in property and elsewhere.

    "I am puzzled by this," said Robert Stern, the president of the nonprofit Center for Governmental Studies.

    "Usually, (financial disclosure) is meant to prevent conflicts, not corruption. I always say that the ones who want to be corrupt will be corrupt and won't disclose."

    rachel.uranga@dailynews.com
    You can now follow me on twitter.

  • #2
    Unbelievable. Outrageous!

    How can the city negotiate away the privacy rights of individual officers?

    That would be like the city agreeing that all of their officers will vote a certain way in the next election. The personal financial information of these officers isn't the city's to negotiate with.

    Next we'll hear about FOIL request for the data.
    You can now follow me on twitter.

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    • #3
      I can see why the city would want them to disclose this information, but its too extreme. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving that to anyone
      "Mess with the bull, you get the horns."

      Comment


      • #4
        Waste of time. Sorry but if your in that type of task force and your running down the money. one would presume you would know the best way to hide it as well. There for this would hassle good honest cops which would be the majority and just give a gloss of protection to those few rare dirty cops.
        It's not a matter if you win or lose but if you did the right thing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MotorCitySwat View Post
          I can see why the city would want them to disclose this information, but its too extreme. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving that to anyone
          I have had to disclose all of this for both departments i've applied with on the personal history statement packet. Checking/Savings account balances, investment accounts, real estate, and a credit report... I understand the application process is different than being an employee on the payroll, but I'd think this information is more relevant as an employee than an applicant.

          That said, I do think this is overstepping the privacy boundary.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SlowDownThere View Post
            Unbelievable. Outrageous!

            How can the city negotiate away the privacy rights of individual officers?

            Next we'll hear about FOIL request for the data.
            Actually, California law has specifically allowed law enforcement agencies to require its officers to make financial disclosures of this nature for around 30 years now. It's just that no one has ever made an issue of it.

            From the California Peace Officers Bill of Rights:

            3308. No public safety officer shall be required or requested for
            purposes of job assignment or other personnel action to disclose any
            item of his property, income, assets, source of income, debts or
            personal or domestic expenditures (including those of any member of
            his family or household) unless such information is obtained or
            required under state law or proper legal procedure, tends to indicate
            a conflict of interest with respect to the performance of his
            official duties, or is necessary for the employing agency to
            ascertain the desirability of assigning the public safety officer to
            a specialized unit in which there is a strong possibility that bribes
            or other improper inducements may be offered.

            Additionally, peace officer personnel records (which contain financial information) are confidential as a matter of law in California and are not subject to inspection pursuant to FOIA or Public Record Act requests.
            Last edited by L-1; 12-19-2007, 09:49 PM.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #7
              Now that's a bit ridiculous
              "Friendly Fire, isn't"

              Comment


              • #8
                i had a problem with my department checking my credit and financial records during the background investigation.......i can not imagine what i would do if they pulled that
                Should have been a hose dragger

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think they're requiring more info than I had to give while applying for my home mortgage loan! Where are the "civil rights" guru's gonna be now that it's cops getting the raw end?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    being as that ts only two differant divisions- I hear the word discrimanation flying out somewhere.

                    but then again if you go into these divisions, and KNOW what your dealing wtih- theres the qualifer that you must make some concestions.
                    ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                    Oscar Wilde

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      that seems really inappropiate to require someone to disclose their personal finances

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to do one every year..but then again, I have a TS/SCI clearance and its mandated by POTUS...so not really the same thing...
                        Dispatch, we have a 9-11, Armed Robbery in progress. Seay's Surplus Store, corner People's Drive and 124th Street.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with BPD and I am sure nobody in the city or public will back the officers on this. What they should do if polygraph every officer applying for those specialized units and then do it again every three years once they get in. That is a waste and a big pain gathering up all that info and then studying it, who would do it. 500 is a big number.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ManoloQ View Post
                            What they should do is polygraph every officer applying for those specialized units and then do it again every three years once they get in.
                            Can't do it. We're one of the more civilized states when it comes to giving poly's to officers. Again, from the California Peace Officers Bill of Rights:

                            3307. (a) No public safety officer shall be compelled to submit to
                            a lie detector test against his or her will. No disciplinary action
                            or other recrimination shall be taken against a public safety officer
                            refusing to submit to a lie detector test, nor shall any comment be
                            entered anywhere in the investigator's notes or anywhere else that
                            the public safety officer refused to take, or did not take, a lie
                            detector test, nor shall any testimony or evidence be admissible at a
                            subsequent hearing, trial, or proceeding, judicial or
                            administrative, to the effect that the public safety officer refused
                            to take, or was subjected to, a lie detector test.

                            (b) For the purpose of this section, "lie detector" means a
                            polygraph, deceptograph, voice stress analyzer, psychological stress
                            evaluator, or any other similar device, whether mechanical or
                            electrical, that is used, or the results of which are used, for the
                            purpose of rendering a diagnostic opinion regarding the honesty or
                            dishonesty of an individual.
                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cool. How many otherwise-worthless peons will they have to hire to review and monitor all these financial records?

                              An under-funded, already-hated police department is going to waste a bunch of taxpayer dollars to make sure that the cops aren't stealing from rich gangs and rich drug dealers.

                              Glad I don't live in California.

                              Comment

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