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Sheriff’s Department Hired Officers With History Of Misbehavior

Jillian Morabito |
December 2, 2013 | 10:55 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

These officers patrol the Southland and patrol daily (via Twitter/@LASDH).
These officers patrol the Southland and patrol daily (via Twitter/@LASDH).
The L.A. Times reports that disgraced law enforcement officers were hired by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department. 

There were a total of 280 out of 400 men and women hired during 2010. Furthermore, the L.A. Times cites 188 of these people were rejected for other law enforcement jobs before coming to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Most of the people came from the Office of Public Safety, which was disbanded in L.A. county years ago due to budget cuts. 

Offenses by these officers include accidentally firing their weapons, having sex at work, petty theft, drunk driving, battery and soliciting prostitutes. Other offenses include making false statements and forging police records. Many offenders were even fired by previous employers or caught trying to rig the polygraph exam that all officers are forced to take. 

One applicant was caught lying on a polygraph test and assumed that he, and other cheaters, would be ineligible from the job (as all officers that are discovered lying usually are). Rather, he was informed that his application would stay in consideration “as a favor because, you know, it’s law enforcement.” This potential candidate was eventually hired by the department. 

The L.A. Sheriffs Department, the largest in the country, is no stranger to scandal. After the tremulous 90s, the past few years has been plagued by allegations of racial biasing and deputy abuse

Larry Waldie, a former L.A. County Undersheriff who was in charge of inspecting the employees, commented, “We had to have grave reasons for not hiring them.” 

Just one example of a hiring decision would be the employment of Louie Barragan, who is currently a deputy sheriff. Barragan has previously been accused of accidentally shooting a gun in a locker room in 2002, soliciting a prostitute in 2007, and lying on his polygraph on the subject of his marijuana use. Yet, even after these incidences, he was hired by the department in 2010. This is just one example, although there are plenty more cases in which poor judgement was used by the hiring staff at the Sheriff’s Department. 

The Sheriff's office could not be reached for comment.

Read more from the L.A. Times here

Reach Executive Producer Jillian Morabito here



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