BEVERLY HILLS—Management Partners, a consulting firm based out of Costa Mesa, released a report earlier this week with 24 recommendations to improve the hiring and disciplinary practices of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
The firm, hired by the city in January 2015 to conduct the review, based its findings off of interviews with 25 individuals, including members of the police department, City Council members and other city executives. The firm also analyzed hiring and turnover data since 2012 and implemented a confidential survey of police department employees.
“The police department’s senior management team has discussed the report with Management Partners and are very supportive of the recommendations,” said Interim City Manager Mahdi Aluzri. “Once we have final approval from the City Council, I look forward to working with the command staff and the interim chief to develop strategies to carry out these improvements.”
In the past five years, city staff said the police department “has been hampered from fully realizing its potential due to vacancies in the ranks of sworn officers.” The number of vacant officer positions ranged from 11 to 14 each year.
A total of 42 sworn personnel have separated from employment between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014. Sworn personnel is defined by the city as any department member ranked from an entry level police officer to a captain.
Of the 42 sworn personnel who left the department, 29 retired under non-disability retirement, seven with a disability retirement, two voluntarily left to join another agency and four were either terminated or resigned in lieu of termination.
During the same time period, the department hired 23 officers.
Amongst the suggestions made in the report to improve the hiring process included establishing written standards and criteria for evaluating police officers and to expand the panel interviewing applicants to include a lieutenant, a member of the Human Resources staff and a senior police officer. Another recommendation made was to institute a short pre-screening questionnaire for candidates.
With regard toward improving disciplinary practices, the report recommended the creation of a “disciplinary matrix to guide discipline based on the offense.” The guide would define conduct categories and set discipline levels as well as identify fair and reasonable presumptive penalties for each discipline level.
The 2014-2015 city budget reveals the police department has a staff of 188 full-time positions with 128 sworn and 60 non-sworn positions.