Reversing a long-standing policy, the Los Angeles Police Department intends to prohibit officers from moonlighting as private investigators, reports the Los Angeles Times. LAPD Assistant Chief Sharon Papa told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee that the department first must confer with the police officers union, but “it is the chief’s intention to restrict them from working as private investigators.”
Many police departments ban officers from working as private investigators because of potential conflicts. The LAPD has allowed the practice, but it came under scrutiny with the indictment of a former veteran officer in the prosecution of Anthony Pellicano, the so-called private investigator to the stars. Pellicano allegedly paid a moonlighting LAPD detective to illegally obtain information from police databases. Police Chief William J. Bratton said in February only two officers worked as private investigators, but the Times turned up more than 100 licensees on the LAPD payroll. A union representative said the ban could be a problem for officers who have built up valuable side businesses.