MORE

LA Sheriff's Department Has Alcohol Issues; Lee Baca Vows To Crack Down

A week after we reported that Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck expressed some concern about alcohol abuse among some L.A. cops, a county of L.A. report indicates that the Sheriff's Department has its own booze issue to contend with.

The county's Office of Independent Review states there have been 33 alcohol-related problems in the county department so far this year, including incidents where deputies were allegedly drunk on the job.

That number is more than drinking-related incidents reported during the same time period last year, according to the county.

Sheriff Lee Baca said he would implement disciplinary measures and other rules to deal with the problem, including a proposal to ban deputies from carrying guns while they're out drinking. The deputies' union is opposed to that measure, and the two sides are trying to work out a deal so Baca can move forward with his program.

"He's taking every conceivable step to prevent people from acting and behaving in this manner,'' Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. "He really believes that deputies should act beyond what is expected of ordinary citizens.''

Whitmore says deputies who misbehave while drunk could face a 16-day suspension and ultimately be fired.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.