LAPD Temporarily Shuts Down Some Gang Units
LAPD said there are currently three divisions that have been shut down temporarily, and another is in the process of being temporarily closed.
The Los Angeles Times reported the news first, saying that while about three-quarters of the gang unit officers agreed to disclosures, only one of about 80 in LAPD’s Southeast, 77th, Northeast, and Hollenbeck divisions agreed to disclosures.
Police officials are now faced with the daunting task of rebuilding these gang units over the next few months while trying to avoid losing pertinent information about the gang’s operations.
The controversial financial disclosure policy was adopted nearly two years ago. Los Angeles agreed to Federal Consent Decree mandates that requires routine disclosures for officers handling cash or contraband regularly.
Officers must complete and submit a financial disclosure form every two years after completion of an initial confidential disclosure. Gang unit officers were given until the end of March to turn in their forms or return to their patrol duties.
Dozens of officers quit in January to return to regular patrolling, according to The Associated Press.
Many officers are concerned their private information could become public during court proceedings, despite that the forms do not ask for specific information other than general financial information. No social security numbers or bank account numbers are required.
Only three people have access to the financial disclosure: Chief Beck and aides who report directly to him, according to LAPD.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber released a statement arguing there is no legitimate reason for what he calls the “onerous financial disclosure requirements.”
“The League is very unhappy that the City’s poorly thought out decision to implement the financial disclosure mandate might very well result in L.A. residents being deprived of having committed and experienced officers in gang units,” the statement reads.
Officers are currently being placed in areas where the gang units were dismantled to control crime, according to LAPD. Gang officers will still be available to assist with their knowledge about neighborhoods where gangs are more prevalent.
Reach reporter Jenny Chen here.
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