Friday, December 15, 2006

LAPD's Latest Scheme: Gang Czar

Haven’t we learned ANYTHING yet? The LA Daily News opines today that the LAPD needs a gang czar. Ugh!

As much as I respected President Reagan, I was skeptical when he introduced us to America’s first Drug Czar during the 1980s. The passage of time has proven its wasteful uselessness.

History shows us that politically-appointed czars are nothing more than one more layer of wasteful bureaucracy that insulates higher-ups from criticism when it fails. And when LAPD's next Gang Czar fails, Chief William Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will show the usual "courage and commitment" to the problem by firing the old czar and appointing a new one. Bratton has apparently forgotten that real cops know how to clean up gang problems. All that's needed is a real commitment from LA's spineless politicians - and a little veracity from the press.

LA gangs thrive because, when officers take action, gang members (like many veteran criminals) file false complaints against officers that Connie Rice and her ilk demand that the LAPD waste millions of dollars to investigate. Officers who focus on gang members end up with so many complaints that LAPD management either buries the complaints to protect the officer and make him more effective (uh oh, another LAPD cover-up?), or reassigns the officers to avoid more paperwork. Having been ordered by LAPD management to ignore gang members myself, I know the game.

After a while, even the dimmest cop learns that chasing gang members can hurt his career, while LA’s parasitic lawyers showcase those same cops as examples of LAPD’s "unfitness and their need for continued oversight." Trial lawyers sue, take their 40% cut, and launder part of their booty through trial lawyer associations back to the politicians who oppose tort reform, while the LA Dog Trainer parrots the "bad cops - more oversight" dogma.

Yes, LAPD officers Rafael Perez and David Mack did terrible things, but LAPD background investigators knew they were trouble before they joined the LAPD. Rampart was more about a mayor's bad hiring practices than bad cops. But under the pretext of diversity, LA’s mayor pressured his Personnel Department to hire them, and forced the LAPD to accept them into our ranks. (Investigators who don’t go along with this practice are quickly reassigned.) And rather than admit their negligent hiring practices, LA politicians appointed lawyers to frame Rampart as another episode of “cops gone wild.”

The common thread to LA’s gang problem rests with politicians and trial lawyers who, under the pretext of diversity, inclusion, and civil rights, have turned the LAPD into a social experiment from the professional law enforcement agency it once was. This experiment leads to dysfunction that those same politicians and lawyers then use as a pretext for more oversight. And the more screw-ups the LAPD suffers, the more oversight they demand. And when the LAPD too busy responding to political and social problems to handle crime, they’re less likely to go sniffing around Villaraigosa and his shady friends.

This makes everybody happy, except good cops who want to make a difference, and the taxpayers who deserve better. I would have written more about this when I was still an LA cop, but I didn't want to suffer retaliation. Again.