McConnor's Corner
Who's On First At Parker Center?
By Sean McConnor
Jul 1, 2003 - 11:31:00 PM

Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
LOS ANGELES — Word is slipping out of Parker Center (LAPD headquarters) that the internal discipline boards are superceding the powers of the police commission. The police commission is supposed to enact discipline or not when an officer screws up, but the discipline boards are making some decisions now.

Come on, I thought Chief William Bratton was supposed to get a handle on things. I thought the President of the Police Commission was a take-charge guy. I thought things were under control in the Glass House (Parker Center). I was wrong. It is like a comedy routine by the legendary comedians Abbot and Costello: Who's on First (base)?

For years, I have advocated the abolition of the Police Commission and the internal discipline boards and station house justice by the captains of the 18 police divisions. I have called for the establishment of a civilian review board, made up of paid civilians, to dole out punishment or discipline or praise to officers.

The present system is not working and has not functioned for a long time, say since William Parker was chief, and needs to be replaced, pronto. No one respects the system: not the victims of police abuse, not the officers who are sometimes judged unfairly, and not the public, who can readily see it is not providing the control and oversight that it was designed to provide.

The time is right to submit changes to the City Charter in the spring elections, so finally, our police department, still one of the best on the planet, gets the leadership it deserves in the form of fair and unbiased justice for its employees and the people it serves and protects.

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