June 21, 2010

It Ain’t Adam 12 Or Dragnet, That’s For Sure

This one came in as a tip of sorts, a suggestion that I look up Maywood, Ca P.D., which I did, and Lo & Behold…

Barely a year after promising to reform its chronically troubled police force, the city of Maywood announced Wednesday that it would disband the 60-member department effective June 30.

City officials said the closure was caused by the city’s loss of insurance. Earlier this month, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority notified Maywood that it was terminating general liability and workers’ compensation coverage because the city posed too high a risk. An excessive number of claims filed against the Police Department, and the city’s failure to hire a permanent city manager, were among the highest risk factors, according to the agency.

“We don’t have an alternative,” Councilman Felipe Aguirre said “Nobody will insure us, not as long as we have the Police Department, even though we haven’t had any claims filed against us recently.”

The City Council will meet Monday to discuss what happens next — whether the city will contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department or the city of Bell for police services.

The Maywood-Cudahy Police Department patrolled a gritty, two-square-mile area that includes Maywood and Cudahy, which has a population of about 70,000 — almost half of their residents undocumented — just south of Los Angeles. Until recently, the force appeared to function as a virtual refuge for misfit police officers. Although the city instituted numerous reforms under a year-old consent decree, officials said it was still too early to say whether the department had successfully turned itself around.

I’d like to say, “Only in California…” but the minute I did that, some other town someplace else in a far-left governed sanctuary state would probably leap up and claim solidarity or something.

Still, a population of about 70,000 — almost half of their residents undocumented — just south of Los Angeles does sound very California.

But here’s the fun part, keeping in mind that this is a police department we’re talking about.

In April 2007, the California attorney general’s office launched an investigation into the department after the Los Angeles Times reported that roughly a third of the department’s officers had been forced out of previous police jobs or had brushes with the law.

The attorney general’s report concluded that the department was “permeated with sexual innuendo, harassment, vulgarity, discourtesy to members of the public as well as among officers, and a lack of cultural, racial and ethnic sensitivity and respect.” The probe also found that officers routinely used excessive force, made arrests without probable cause and failed to investigate complaints.

As a result of that probe, the city approved a stipulated court order to reform the department. Among other requirements, the department was directed to install video cameras in the police station and in police vehicles. Officers also were required to carry digital recorders on patrol.

This sounds more like a penal unit for criminals and thugs, or maybe a long term public service penalty venue, than it does like a law enforcement agency, which is what a police department is.

Ah, Southern California…

by @ 11:40 am. Filed under Uncategorized
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