As San Diego police officials officials grapple with a spate of officer misconduct cases, Mayor Jerry Sanders — who led the department for six years in the 1990s — said he is confident Chief William Lansdowne can get the problem under control, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. The mayor, who served 26 years in the police department, praised a seven-point plan Lansdowne developed to combat officer misconduct. The plan includes beefing up the Internal Affairs Unit, creating a complaint hotline and training more officers on an early warning and intervention system.
Hours after Lansdowne presented the plan on Tuesday to the news media and promised to regain the public's trust in the agency, an officer was arrested on suspicion of raping a prostitute while on duty. The officer was the ninth since October to come under scrutiny for his conduct. “I'm obviously concerned any time a police officer commits a crime,” Sanders said. “And I'm concerned about the fact that we have so many officers out there that work so hard and do such a great job, and then they get tarred by a few of these guys who are absolute jerks.” So far, the investigations have led to criminal charges against five of the officers. Lansdowne said other departments are facing similar problems, such as in Seattle, where police are under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, and in Philadelphia, where officers are embroiled in a steroid-sales scandal.