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Los Angeles Gang Police Quit Over Financial Rules

Associated Press

January 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES — Dozens of anti-gang police officers across the city are quitting their assignments over a requirement to reveal personal financial information under strict anti-corruption rules, The Associated Press has learned.

Gang units in some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods are being left with multiple vacancies, with officers choosing instead to work regular patrol shifts, Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger said Monday.

One of the areas most affected is the city’s northeast division, which includes territory controlled by the notorious Avenues gang around Highland Park. Rather than fill in financial disclosure forms, most of the division’s anti-gang unit has decided to leave and return to patrol, resulting in an unspecified number of vacancies.

Paysinger and other police officials stressed the reassignments would not affect public safety. The former gang officers – along with their street smarts and gang expertise – would remain in the neighborhoods they had long served.

The main difference would be that, as regular patrol officers, they would not be able to use some of the investigative techniques they could as gang officers.

“The community should not be concerned,” Paysinger said. “We haven’t backed away from our gang enforcement posture.”

The deadline for officers to sign the LAPD’s financial disclosure forms is the end of March but many officers are letting their superiors know ahead of time that they are declining.

The rules were mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice after a scandal in the late 1990s involving misconduct by anti-gang officers from LAPD’s Rampart division.

The rules require gang and narcotics officers to reveal portions of their personal financial records to the department and are supposed to snare corrupt officers in units frequently handling cash or drugs.

The police officers’ union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, has long faulted the requirements, saying they are onerous and sap morale, among other criticisms,

Paysinger said gang officers who chose to quit rather than fill in the forms did not have a full understanding of the policy, and said the financial disclosure forms were less intrusive than credit card applications

The departure of gang officers could put the cash-strapped department under additional pressure. Already, it has had to cut overtime to deal with a shrinking budget.

Despite this, the city last year recorded its lowest homicide rate in decades.


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  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    over 3 years ago

    23118 Comments

    Personally I would not comply as I would feel highly insulted. If an officer starts wearing designer clothes and expensive jewelry and tools around in a jag then ask some questions.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    I hate to say it but this is the way of the future folks. These and other "we're watching you" rules are not going away.

  • Laugh_now_cry_later_max50

    luke3302

    over 3 years ago

    922 Comments

    The "if you have nothing to hide" arguement is a little old. That is the type of arguement that has led to the loss of so many of our freedoms. The simple fact is that these officers feel it is a violation of their privacy to have to turn over financial records to remain a part of the unit.

    They have the officers Name, DOB and SOC already. WTH else do they need? With that information they can get a complete credit report, like for credit cards. Sounds like they want the officers to give over account numbers and release statements that allow the agency access to the account information. I would have a problem with that as well.

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 3 years ago

    16734 Comments

    No comment on this one !!

  • Pic-0246_max50

    CPD82

    over 3 years ago

    466 Comments

    is this policy just now being implemented? and if so why has it taken so long to implement it? or if it has been in place since the 90's why is this story now just surfacing?

  • Tlusa_max50

    rsmith6322

    over 3 years ago

    1088 Comments

    I don't see a problem with the policy-if you're not on the take that is.

  • Michigan_20sheriff7_max50

    Dep1870

    over 3 years ago

    188 Comments

    It seems to me that if there was any financial corruptions (presumably through bribary), that it would pretty much be a cash only sort of thing...or am I missing something here?

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    over 3 years ago

    23592 Comments

    Either comply with department rules or move on.

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50

    t1401hm

    over 3 years ago

    1754 Comments

    Isn't this important though? How will you know if the officer is "on the take" without financial disclosure. At my office we are all required to do financial disclosure. If they have nothing to hide, then there should not be a problem.

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