Oversight panel hears Inspector General’s concerns and Sheriff’s Department discusses Body Worn Cameras policy

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission hosted its monthly meeting today. The Commission listened to presentations from L.A. County Office of the Inspector General and L.A. County Sheriff’s Department as well as public comments.

Exchange of Information

L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman presented examples of information his office has requested from the Sheriff’s Department but has not received. Huntsman expressed concerns with the department’s compliance with County Code 6.144.90 regarding internal discipline, secret societies, transparency, hiring and harassment. View the presentation.

“The relationship between the Office of the Inspector General and the Sheriff’s Department is absolutely critical to the work that the Office of the Inspector General is mandated to do, and to the work that the Civilian Oversight Commission has to do in terms of our oversight,” said Patti Giggans, L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commission Chair and Executive Director of Peace Over Violence.

Harassment of Families

Huntsman provided a verbal report on the inquiry into harassment allegations of families impacted by officer-involved shootings. He discussed his office’s lack of access to information and addressed protecting people’s right to grieve around incidents in which their loved ones have been shot. Huntsman also connected the harassment allegations to the issue of secret societies because a portion of them come out of the East L.A. station.

“This problem has to be resolved,” Inspector General Huntsman spoke of the secret societies. “I hope that the Sheriff’s policy goes into effect soon, I hope that it is enthusiastically enforced, and I hope it is embraced by the deputies’ union.”

“As I’ve said in the past, no deputy had a choice about whether or not to be a part of this structure,” he continued. “These societies have existed for fifty years, and all the deputies who are employed today joined an organization that already had them. It’s a management problem that needs to be addressed.”

Body Worn Cameras Policy

Commander Chris Marks, from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Detective Division, presented an overview of the proposed Body Worn Camera policy. He provided a status on the request for proposal, the hiring of additional personnel, the policy development process, and key areas of the policy. View the presentation.

Next Meeting

The Civilian Oversight Commission’s Executive Director Brian K. Williams announced that the next Commission Meeting will be held on Saturday, February 22 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Bienvenidos, affiliate of Hillsides (TELACU building), 5400 E Olympic Blvd., 1st floor, Los Angeles, CA 90022. RSVP.

Audio Recording:

To listen to the full audio recording of the meeting.
– Exchange of Information discussion starts at 10:00
– Harassment of Families starts at 1:15:45
– Body Worn Cameras Policy starts at 2:08:25

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