Los Angeles police officials Tuesday acknowledged shortcomings in the way the LAPD investigates claims of retaliation among officers, vowing quick reforms to the unit that investigates such cases and better training for supervisors who are often accused of workplace misconduct. Responding to a critical report by the department’s independent watchdog, LAPD officials offered up an unusually candid mea culpa to the police commission, the civilian body that oversees the department, reports the Los Angeles Times.
LAPD policy forbids officers from retaliating against other officers who report misconduct, take advantage of allotted time off or exercise other rights. Cases of retaliation often involve allegations that officers were unfairly passed over for coveted assignments, given poor work evaluations or harassed with crude behavior. The report from LAPD Inspector General Nicole Bershon found systemic problems with the way internal affairs investigators look into retaliation claims. On the heels of a Times article last week that highlighted the large number of lawsuits LAPD officers file against the department over retaliation and other workplace issues, police commission members expressed displeasure that workplace frictions, when handled poorly, cost taxpayers millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for disgruntled officers who prevail in court.