Los Angeles police deliberately falsified records to make it appear that officers were patrolling city streets when they were not, found the police department’s inspector general, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deception occurred in at least five of the department’s 21 patrol divisions, said a report on the “ghost car” phenomenon.
Officers working desk jobs, handing out equipment in stations or performing other duties were logged into squad car computers to make it appear they were on patrol. The findings bolstered allegations union officials have made that patrol commanders were using the scheme to mask the fact that they did not have enough officers on patrol to meet staffing levels set by department brass. “This has been going on for years,” said veteran officer Mark Cronin, a director in the Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file cops. There is this intentional misperception being put out there that there are more officers on the street than are actually there.”