LAST JAIL COMMISSION MEETING ON FRIDAY AT 9:15 AM—NEXT UP, THE COMMISSIONS REPORT IN OCTOBER
The last scheduled meeting of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence will take place Friday, September 7, at 9:15 a.m.
The Commission is due to deliver its report in early October.
Those interested in listening to the live Commission meeting in real time may do so by calling (877) 873-8017, Access Code: 111111#.
10TH ANNUAL OFFICE OF INDEPENDENT REVIEW REPORT RELEASED
ON Thursday, Michael Gennaco, Chief Attorney for the Office of Independent Review, presented the OIR’s 10th annual report on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The report covers a wide variety of observations, progress assessments, recommendations, specific cases, and special investigations in its 194 pages, including such sections as:
*Violence in the Jails (p. 11)
*Drugs, Fraternization & Off-Duty Violence (p. 49)
*A Look into the Mitrice Richardson Investigation (p. 146)
*And a special investigation into some very problematic hires of displaced officers from Maywood. (p. 119)
There is also this short but interesting section titled “Executive Leadership: The Pitfalls of Conflicting Messaging.”
Over the past years, there have been times in which messages from Sheriff’s executives to
LASD personnel did not seem to mirror the vision of the Sheriff himself. For example, in 2007
we heard that a high level executive had been communicating his dislike of the Internal Affairs
Bureau (IAB) to various audiences. Because we monitor all investigations coming out of IAB,
we were concerned that such comments could have a deleterious effect on the functioning
and morale of the unit. We also were concerned that the comments could undermine the
effectiveness of internal investigations.
As a result, we met at that time with the executive and related our concerns about comments
attributed to him. He described how his intended message was a more innocuous version of what
we had heard, and we indicated that his comments were not being received in the way he said
he intended. We suggested that he explore other ways to communicate his sentiments, and he
agreed to do so. We also relayed our concerns about the executive’s comments to the Sheriff at
that time, and we were informed that he subsequently also had a conversation with the executive
about the IAB comments.
It is critical that executives’ comments to deputies and other personnel be consistent with the
vision of the head of the agency. Comments perceived as divergent from that vision may be
used by personnel to behave counter to the agency’s values. As another example, there has been 09
much recent public discussion about the same executive making a comment about “working the
gray.” There were clearly deputies who believed the executive intended by his comments that
deputies could cross or come close to the line of professional, legal, or ethical conduct in order to get criminals off the street. While the executive has recently disavowed that intent, in the years previous that messaging may have caused deputies to be confused about the expectations of their Department. We are hopeful that this unfortunate episode has served as a learning opportunity
for the Department, and that communications contrary to the ideals of the organization will not
be articulated in the future.
Of course there’s lots more, if you want to take a look.