Potholes are devouring tires, the city budget is once again a mess, and now there's more bad news this week for the concerned citizens of L.A: Experienced gang cops are abandoning ship. (See the L.A. police union's response, after the jump).
That's right, police assigned to the LAPD's anti-gang units, particularly the one that patrols the Northeast area that's home to the notorious Avenues clique, are transferring to regular patrol duty in order to avoid new financial-reporting requirements that would have the department all up in their bank accounts.
This was confirmed to Associated Press by Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.
AP reports the "anti-corruption" reporting rule, designed to see of any possible bad cops are on the take, have pushed officers away from the gang units by the "dozens."
Paysinger downplayed the moves, saying the officers were still on the streets, just without some of the research tools provided under the anti-gang crews.
"The community should not be concerned," Paysinger said. "We haven't backed away from our gang enforcement posture."
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Officers in the gang units have to give up their bank account info or find another gig by March under the new rules.
The union that represents Los Angeles police is not happy. It argues that the disclosure rule was implemented to help end the Rampart Scandal-era federal consent decree and that it has no other use.
Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber:
"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 sole responsibility for these consequences lies at the feet of City leaders."