Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles Daily News

Computer to track info on officers
By Jeremiah Marquez
Associated Press

Saturday, July 23, 2005 – Dogged by scandal, the Los Angeles Police Department is looking beyond human judgment to technology to identify bad cops.

This month, the agency began using a $35 million computer system that tracks complaints and other telling data about officers — then alerts top supervisors to possible signs of misconduct.

The system is central to a federal oversight program ordered by the U.S. Justice Department after a wave of abuse allegations in the 1990s cast doubt on the LAPD’s ability — and willingness — to police itself.

“There definitely needs to be computerized management” of officers, said Andre Birotte, the LAPD’s inspector general. “There have been concerns with all the scandals that have gone on within the department.”

Community leaders hope the tracking system can help restore public confidence shaken by high-profile shootings and scandals involving the LAPD.

“I don’t think any single thing will solve problems with the Police Department. But this could go a long way toward doing it,” said the Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray, an activist and former pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, an influential congregation in South Los Angeles.

The system, developed by Sierra Systems Group Inc. and Bearing Point Inc., mines databases of complaints, pursuits, lawsuits, uses of force and other records to detect patterns that human eyes might miss or choose to ignore.

In the past, much of that data existed only on paper spread across various bureaus. That made it difficult to compile detailed performance profiles of officers and spot potential abusers.

Now, anyone whose conduct differs sharply from their peers’ automatically gets flagged. That could mean a vice detective who fires significantly more shots than other investigators or anti-gang cops with a high number of excessive force complaints.

Safeguards have been built in to catch abuse that might be widespread within certain peer groups.

If the system pinpoints unusual conduct, it triggers an electronic message to direct supervisors, who must take a second look. The notices also travel up the command chain to a deputy chief as an extra level of oversight. Managers can access the system anywhere in the department through an internal Web site.

Depending on their conduct, some officers could be ordered to undergo more training or counseling. Follow-up investigations could lead to firing or criminal charges.

The technology could face its toughest test at the LAPD — the second-largest police department in the nation with nearly 13,100 officers, jailers, dispatchers and other personnel.

The LAPD has long struggled with allegations of brutality, even before the 1991 videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King.

Tension flared again this month when police shot and killed a 19-month-old girl and her father as he clutched the girl and fired dozens of rounds at officers. Police are investigating the standoff, which left relatives and activists outraged that officers didn’t show more patience during the incident.

Some rank-and-file officers fear the tracking system could mistakenly tag hardworking personnel and hurt their careers.

“How many times do you have to get triggered before they slow you down, transfer you, and you get a bad reputation?” said Gary Ingemunson, independent counsel for the union that represents LAPD officers. “The subtle message is: Stay in the middle of the pack. Don’t stand out.”

Union lawyers also argue that bad cops could game the system by curbing their activities just enough to avoid being detected, while good cops might hesitate in life-and-death situations due to concerns about getting flagged.

“A lot of hesitation could get somebody killed,” Ingemunson said.

Police Chief William Bratton questions whether anything can end abuse and corruption by officers.

“Nothing will eliminate it,” Bratton said earlier this year as the city announced that payouts from a corruption scandal at the Rampart Division would cost taxpayers nearly $70 million.

Claims that officers working in the rough division beat and framed innocent people resulted in scores of criminal convictions being reversed.

“As long as you have police officers, you always have the potential for corruption,” Bratton said. “As long as you have human beings, there is potential for crime.”

Posted by on Jul 23 2005. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply


Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google

Photo Gallery

Log in |
  • Home
  • Hispanic Gangs
  • Homies Figures – The Original Homies
  • Prison Gangs
  • The Inside Man – Confidential Informant, Los Angeles Gangs & the LAPD
  • Email
  • Connecticut Drug Threat Assessment report – 2003
  • Dianne Feinstein Report, The Gang Prevention and Effective Deterrence Act: Combating the Spread of Gang Violence – 2003
  • National Alliance of Gang Investigators 2005
  • L.A. Area Terrorized by Marauding Youngsters
  • Other Cities
  • Three persons were killed by shotgun blast in hotel on Vermont Avenue, 1979
  • Jamiel’s Law, proposed by Mayoral candiate Walter Moore
  • Los Angeles Police Gang Enforcement Initiaitives – 2007
  • My Kingdom Come – 2015
  • Passing of Vincent A Alonso
  • Bibliography on street gangs for the gang researcher
  • Cal State Long Beach T-Shirt from “Oldest Bloods” Series
  • Four Pacc Crips car alliance (42, 43 & 48)
  • SG Music Group
  • Crip Gangs
  • Bloods
  • Asian Gangs
  • Forums
  • Shop
  • Injunctions
  • Contact information streetgangs.com
  • Resources
  • Contact