Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck took the unusual step of addressing "employee wellness" and drinking and DUI problems within the Los Angeles Police Department in a statement posted at the LAPD's blog this week. In it he cited recent statistics that show about 21 LAPD employees a year get arrested on suspicion of DUI. He stated that "in order to enforce the law we must practice it." Two officers died in suspected DUI crashes -- one happened after a lawman imbibed at the police academy's independently operated bar -- so far during Beck's tenure, so it's not surprising to see him addressing the issue.
"While a DUI arrest may reflect purely bad judgment, the majority of the individuals who are arrested while DUI already have significant stress in their lives, in addition to the stress caused by the arrest/detainment and in the worst case scenario, serious injury or loss of life," Beck writes.
"My message to you has been that cops count - character counts; do the right thing and you can be the difference," Beck states. "As officers of the law, and employees of the LAPD, you have a responsibility to hold yourself to a higher standard ... When we break the same laws we enforce it undermines the trust and confidence of the communities we serve."