2004-2005 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report

From the 2004 2005 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report

LIVINGSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

INTRODUCTION

The Grand Jury may investigate, at its discretion the operations, account, and records of the officers departments, functions, and the method or system of performing the duties of any law enforcement agency located within the county in accordance with Penal Code §925 a. The 2004-2005 Grand Jury chose to look at the City of Livingston Police Department Internal Affairs practice.

METHOD OF INVESTIGATION

4/26/05 A Grand Jury committee visited the police department in Livingston. We spoke with the chief and toured the facility, including the evidence room.

5/26/05 A Grand Jury committee visited the police department in Livingston. Several Internal Affair files were reviewed.

FINDINGS

·       Livingston Police Department (LPD) employs 26 people. Eighteen are sworn officers. The population of Livingston is approximately 14,500.

·        LPD had a total of 22 complaints in the 2004 calendar year. There are a total of five complaints to date in 2005.

·        A complaint is taken by a commander during the day and a sergeant at night. The administrative sergeant will go to complainant’s home to take the complaint if they are afraid to come into the police station.

·        The complaint form is clear. The complainant must sign a False Complaint Admonition, which is printed in ten different languages.

·        If a complaint is made against someone at the sergeant rank or higher, it is investigated by another agency (e.g., Atwater Police Department, Merced Police Department, etc.).

·        The commander reviews the complaint and determines if it becomes a Supervisor Inquiry (SI) or an Internal Affair (IA). He then decides who will investigate the complaint. Most complaints are assigned to the administrative sergeant. All complaints are investigated by a sergeant or above.

·        Each step of the process is documented, including transcripts of each interview.

·        Once the investigation is completed, the investigator will offer his conclusions to the commander, who will then review the entire file and make a suggestion to the chief of police. The chief then determines the proper steps to take.

·       In the event the complaint is determined to be valid the one or more of the following could occur:

a.     Verbal counseling and complaint placed in the ‘Watch File’ (for SI’s) (41)

b.     Reduction in Pay

c.      Reduction in Rank

d.     Termination

·        The complainant receives a letter from the chief of police after the investigation is completed. By law, the chief is not allowed to state the final determination or consequence.

·        By state law, (State Personnel Board Rule 52.3) the officer may request a Skelly Hearing if they disagree with the final result of the investigation or its consequence.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Livingston Police Department should continue to follow proper procedure in conducting Internal Affairs Investigations.

COMMENDATIONS

The Livingston Police Department is doing a just and balanced job in their Internal Affairs Investigations.

The Grand Jury would like to thank the Livingston Police Department for their level of cooperation and the exemplary thoroughness of their Internal Affair Investigation process.

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One thought on “2004-2005 Merced County Grand Jury Final Report

  1. Pingback: Now That The “Political Silly Season” Is Starting All Over Again in 2010 « Thegardeningsnail's Weblog (because not every critter is hiding under a rock…)

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