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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems 322

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the watchers-hate-being-watched dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An internal audit conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in March revealed that 'dozens of the [voice] transmitters worn by officers in Southeast Division were missing or damaged.' In the summer of 2013, this same division was found to have mysteriously lost 45% of the antennae placed on their cars to pick up the signals sent by their voice transmitters. The Southeast Division of the LAPD covers an area that has 'historically been marred by mistrust and claims of officer abuse.' For decades, the LAPD had been closely monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice, but a federal judge in 2013 decided to end that practice after being assured by the LAPD and city officials that the LAPD sufficiently monitors itself via dash-cams and voice transmitters. A formal investigation is currently being conducted to determine whether or not police officers intentionally subverted mandatory efforts to monitor and record their patrols."
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

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  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:17PM (#46705505)

    It is possible people are vandalizing the cars (in general and though the public would vandalize ALL the antennas, not just one). The simple solution is make the officers report any damage and fill out paperwork indicating the cause. If they go a day with broken equipment unreported they're suspended without pay for day the first time with a day added per occurrence and fired after 5. If it's a repeated occurrence with an officer they should be monitored in secret by IA to observe if the officer is doing the damage themselves and if they are they should be fired and prosecuted for damaging government property. If the cars are being vandalized by the public they need better antennas that are vandal resistant.

  • Futile? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:24PM (#46705569)

    From TFA: "Because cars in the Southeast Division had been equipped with cameras since 2010 and different shifts of officers use the same car each day, officials decided an investigation into the missing antennas would have been futile, according to Smith and Capt. Phil Tingirides, the commanding officer of the Southeast Division."

    I do not believe that this is possible. Given the number of officers, and the number of damaged cars, and the number of undamaged cars, and the log book, most of us could tell you who the culprits are before we get through our first 16oz cup of coffee.

  • by Gramie2 (411713) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:30PM (#46705641)

    I'm pretty sure that people who work in retail are basically on camera all the time, certainly when they in the public areas of the store. In private, of course they should not be monitored. Unless, perhaps, you count ankle monitors that some convicted felons wear as an alternative to being in prison.

    If you were in England, you would be on some of the estimated 6 million surveillance cameras: 70,000 operated by the police, 300,000+ by schools, 13,000 by the London Tube, etc., and most of the rest private individuals and corporations.

    Given the track record of police abuses in the U.S., and the dramatic [fall in complaints about police behaviour](http://www.policefoundation.org/content/body-worn-cameras-police-use-force), plus the usefulness of having on-the-spot video evidence against criminals, I would support mandatory cameras for all of them.

  • Re:Easy fix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Carcass666 (539381) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:30PM (#46705645)

    Just deduct the repair bill from their pay. They'll soon start working.

    Good luck with that given the power of their union.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @01:01PM (#46705933)

    Apart from that there is not reason to go hard on the police officers. There is a simple social solution when problems like this arise.
    Split them up. It works on bullies, criminal gangs and neo-nazis.

    Relocate them to cities that doesn't have this problem and make sure that none of them works with each other.
    Once they are partnered up with honest people and only honest people the undesired behavior will go away.
    After a couple of years the can be brought back.

    That way the problem disappears without the need to break necks or even prove anything.

    -- methane-fueled

  • Re:Easy fix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @01:02PM (#46705947)
    The problem with closing loopholes isn't figuring out what needs to be done. It's usually obvious: you close the fucking loophole.

    The problem is usually actually doing it without giving up more ground than you get. Law enforcement anywhere tends to think that oversight is a conspiracy to aid the bad guys, and resists thinking that they themselves are or even can be the bad guys. LAPD in particular [wikipedia.org]. That mindset goes back a long time and is undoubtedly entrenched at every level. Any moves which actually bring the LAPD under reasonable oversight will be resisted by damn near everyone.

    With campaign finance reform, that's resisted for similar reasons, but there's competition working for it: a politician who says he wants to reform things might be hurt by it, but so will his opponents. With law enforcement, reform isn't really beneficial to anyone since it just hurts everyone and no one gets ahead by enacting it.
  • Re:Easy fix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjcNO@SPAMcarpanet.net> on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @01:36PM (#46706263) Homepage

    While I would normally agree here, we are talking about the people who sign up and take an oath to uphold the law....laws which they are clearly breaking by damaging public property. Worst, they are doing so with the intention of obstructing their own job of collecting evidence of crimes to present to the court. So in fact, they are obstructing justice, destroying property, and possibly breaking several other statutes at the same time.

    This is nothing other people wouldn't be charged with for destroying police equipment willfully. I garauntee you if I took one of these devices and damaged it so it didn't work, I would be charged with all that and more.

    So the reality is...in NOT charging them, the law is being applied differently.

  • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wyattstorch516 (2624273) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @02:23PM (#46706735)

    Its not every word that is recorded. The recorder activates when they engage the sirens. They are only recorded in the process of doing their jobs.

  • Whoa (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @02:51PM (#46707033) Homepage Journal

    Are you trying to say that a police officer isn't different from non-police citizens?

  • Re:Asinine (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TangoMargarine (1617195) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @02:53PM (#46707051) Journal

    Considering that we don't seem to be offered the choice of whether or not we're wiretapped, I feel no sympathy towards law enforcement being recorded while on duty. At least with cops, there is actually a good reason to do so.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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